James McBride studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. His works include the memoir The Color of Water and two novels, Miracle at St. Anna and Song Yet Sung. He wrote the screenplay for Miracle at St. Anna when it was made into a movie in 2008. He is a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine and The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. He is a saxophonist and former sideman for jazz legend Jimmy Scott. He has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Gary Burton, and Barney, the PBS television character. He received the Stephen Sondheim Award and the Richard Rodgers Foundation Horizon Award for his musical Bo-Bos co-written with playwright Ed Shockley. In 2005, he published the first volume of a CD-based documentary about life as lived by low-profile jazz musicians entitled The Process. He is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.