EVERYONE remembers the excitement of Durbin Day 2011! The parade and concert commemorating James Durbin's journey to the 2011 American Idol top 4 made history in Santa Cruz. More than 30,000 people came out to see James perform at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Since that memorable event, James has been busy, first touring with his American Idol alums, then recording and releasing an album of his own. James has had incredible success with his debut album, "Memories of a Beatiful Disaster" and is currently working on his second album..
As success continues to grow for local celebrity James Durbin, the story behind his Santa Cruz roots has become known. James' late father, Willy Durbin, who made a name for himself in the local music scene as a jazz and rock bassist, and his late grandfather James Settle, a well-known dentist in Watsonville, played tuba in the Watsonville Band for many years. In fundamental ways, James Durbin is a product of the Santa Cruz County music scene. James became involved in Kids on Broadway, a Santa Cruz theatre group for kids ages 5-19 and their parents, and All About Theater, at a young age where his raw talent was fine tuned. After Kids on Broadway, James received a scholarship to attend Musicscool, a Santa Cruz-based musical program where he was mentored by longtime rocker Dale Ockerman. In the last few years, Durbin became a familiar face in the urban SC music scene by performing in bands at local venues. One of his reported favorite places in town includes the Fog Bank in Capitola Village, where he was rumored to sing karaoke and wow his fellow pub goers before auditioning for the hit T.V. show. He has also preformed with widely regarded local Beatles tribute show, White Album Ensemble.
Locally, the community celebrated "Durbin Day" on Saturday, May 14th, 2011. "Durbin Day" officially recognized James Durbin's accomplishments on American Idol and provided the community with an opportunity to cheer on this hometown idol. While in town for "Durbin Day", James visited Kids on Broadway, then rode in a motorcade and procession to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where James performed a free concert with the White Album Ensemble providing back-up vocals and music. It was an incredible day!
**James Durbin photographs courtesy of Russell Martin, Blue Pacific Photography