James Lewis (b.1938) is Professor of Music at the University of South Florida He received his training at North Texas State University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Colorado. He has taught at Xavier University, the University of South Dakota, and has been at the University of South Florida since 1971. He has received awards from ASCAP, the Florida State Arts Council, The MacDowell Colony, the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, The Djerassi Foundation and The Ragdale Foundation. His music is published by Media Press and GunMar Music, and recorded on the GM Recordings label.
Since 1994 he has visited Cuba and collaborated with La Camerata Romeu, an all female string ensemble that presents concerts world wide. They have performed his Suite Caribbean in Europe, Canada, Cuba, and in seven cities in the US in 1998. His Cuba experience led to the composition Cubanitis for solo timpani and orchestra, commisioned by John Bannon, timpanist with The Florida Orchestra, that was premiered by The Florida Orchestra in 1998. Cubanitis was repeated by John Bannon and the Florida Orchestra with the Cuban conductor, Enrique Pérez Mesa in May 2012 in Tampa, St. Petersburgh, and Clearwater FL.