He’s shared the stage with Etta James and Stevie Wonder. And at 75, he’s still rocking on
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Well-known musician and music teacher Chuck James has played the drums since he was a kid. Even with all that experience, the professional musician still works to get better.
“I practice at least an hour to two hours a day,” he said.
James’ drumming has taken him all over the world. He has performed with musical legends like Etta James, Glen Campbell and Stevie Wonder, and he’s played on the Hawaii scene since 1972.
But he has another pursuit that is more than a pastime: ice hockey.
“I’m originally from Canada,” he said, with a smile. “That kinda explains the hockey thing.”
James plays league level hockey at the Ice Palace, often facing off against much younger athletes.
At 75, he’s still got game.
“I guess I’m fairly fast for my age,” he said.
He’s so good at handling a puck, he was picked to play in this year’s USA Hockey National Championships in Florida. His team, the Illinois Ice, went on to win the national title for their age bracket.
James played a pivotal role.
“The first game I scored two goals out of the seven,” he said.
James said music and hockey have a lot in common. They both involve rhythm and timing.
“I’m glad that I’ve had the drumming experience because I relate it to when I’m skating and getting the rhythm and feeling all of that, just the tempo and everything,” he said.
As for his music, the Chuck James Music School now has four locations on Oahu, and one of them is right next door to the Ice Palace.
“We have over 600 students, so it’s been pretty good,” he said.
James can’t see ever setting aside his drum sticks or his ice skates. He plans to play in the Nationals again next year.
“I feel 65 rather than 75,” he said. “I tell you, whatever you’re doing, don’t stop. You have to have some kind of way to motivate yourself.”
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