James Pennington is very much a child of the 80’s. He started piano lessons at age 8, and continued until age 11 when he switched to trumpet, and joined the school marching band. He stuck with trumpet through the end of high school, and started getting into MIDI his junior year (1996). In 2004, he started getting into synthesis, electronic music, as well as learning recording and mixing, and improving his keyboard skills as he started doing occasional collaborations with other musicians. He joined Blackjack Rose as a keyboardist and songwriter in 2016, first meeting up with guitarist Tom Oritt. It is his first time performing with a rock band, believe it or not.

As a musician and songwriter, he works with many genres, including but not limited to Blues, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Electronica, and Classical music. Influences include Queen, Muse, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, System of a Down, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Miles Davis, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Bach, Bartok, and the list goes on and on.