Oral History Interview of Dr. James M. Self


International Tuba-Euphonium Association

Oral History Project

Oral History Interview of

Dr. James M. Self

July 24th, 2001

Recorded in Bloomington, Indiana


James Self

Carole Nowicke

Approved by Narrator, October, 2001

©International Tuba-Euphonium Association

Dr. James M. Self

Dr. Self’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from Indiana

University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music from the Catholic University of America, and a

Doctor of Music Arts from the University of Southern California.  He was a member of The

United States Army Band from 1965-67, and taught at the University of Tennessee from 19691974...

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Jim Self Interviews David Angel


Out on the Coast Cover_Square (1)

David Angel and Jim`

Jim Self Interviews David Angel

Transcribed by William Nakamura

Day 1 – 9/1/20


Jim: This is an interview with composer/arranger David Angel regarding our new triple CD “Out on the Coast”. David, do you mind telling me a few things about your childhood, and then later on in your career?

David: I grew up in Highland Park, near Los Angeles. We had a piano in the house, and my mother gave all the children piano lessons. But when I took piano lessons with teachers, after the first day they would say ‘don’t waste your money, he’s no good for music’. So after that I taught myself to play, I loved harmony, and then when my mother and her sisters would play old Russian songs, I would play the piano by ear...

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The Legacy of John Williams Podcast


L.A. Studio Legends: Jim Self

(Click HERE to Link to Article and Podcast)

Legendary tuba player talks his 40+ years career as studio musician in Los Angeles and his collaborations with John Williams, including the “Voice of the Mothership” solo in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and his work on Home Alone, Hook and Jurassic Park

Tubist Jim Self is one of the true legends among both the international tuba community and the Los Angeles studio musicians. In a career spanning more than four decades, Jim has performed internationally as soloist, orchestral player, chamber musician and studio musician. He performed in more than 1,500 film and television soundtracks and can be heard playing solos on many of them. He has been John Williams’ principal tuba for 25 years (from 1990...

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International Musician – The Tuba Takes Center Stage (March 2019)


Jim Self of Locals 47(Los Angeles, CA) and 7(Orange County, CA) has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral tubist, and studio musician for 43 years. He’s recorded on more than 1,500 soundtracks and has performed tuba solos for major films and hundreds of TV shows. His skills as a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, doubling on string and electric bass and bass trombone earned him a reputation as an exceptionally versatile player. At 75, he is principal tuba in four orchestras—the Los Angeles Opera, the Pacific Symphony, the Pasadena Symphony, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. This month, he will release his 15th CD of original classical scores, titled Flying Circus: Music for Brass Quintet.

Self, who routinely works with union players in Los Ange...

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Atlanta Symphony with Michael Moore 2019



A couple of months ago my friend Michael Moore called and asked me if I would like to play 2nd tuba with him and the Atlanta Symphony on Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastic. Just by chance he was in the audience 10 years ago when I did the same with Gene Pokorny and the Chicago Symphony.  When he needed a 2nd for Atlanta he thought of me and it just fit in my schedule. So I said yes and the orchestra hired me for the week. 


After finishing a week of Harlequinade with the Pacific Symphony and American Ballet off I went to Atlanta—fearful of travel hassles due to the federal shutdown and possible winter weather. Neither happened and my trusty Yamaha F tuba and I spent a wonderful week with that fine orchestra...

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