James Kimo Williams was born in Amityville, New York and grew up on military bases as the son of an Airforce Dad..
In May 1969, just before enlisting in the US Army he attended his first major music concert: Jimi Hendrix playing at the Waikiki Bowl. He was so inspired by this concert and the music of Jimi Hendrix, that he dedicated himself to music and playing guitar. After returning from Vietnam utilizing the GI Bill, Kimo earned a BA in Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also holds a MA in Management and Human Relations from Webster University.
Kimo’s compositions have been performed by the symphonies of Detroit, Atlanta, Savannah, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Alabama and Dallas among many others.
Many of his compositions are inspired by his experience and interest in the military, including the award-winning “Symphony for the Sons of Nam.”
He has received numerous awards to include; the Lancaster Symphony’s 38th Recipient – “Composers Award for Contributions to American Music” among others. Kimo is a “Fulbright Specialist”
Kimo is an avid award-winning photographer and owns a gallery in Shepherdstown, WV (KimoPics.com). His works have won several awards dating back to the early 1980s. His photography has been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Editor’s Choice, and the National Veterans Arts Museum in Chicago. Recently, Kimo’s photography has been jury-selected and curated at; The Berkeley Arts Centerin West Virginia, The Scarab Club in Detroit MI and the Cooperstown Art Association Galleries in New York.
His photography has been awarded:
He is currently a National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy Organization) Advocacy member representing the State of West Virginia to the 116th US Congress.
Kimo and his artist, partner, and wife, Carol lives in Shepherdstown West Virginia.