James “Kimo” Williams

  • Founder, United States Veterans Art Program
  • 2015 Purpose Prize Fellow
  • Co-founder, “Lt. Dan Band” with film/TV actor Gary Sinise

Captain (retired) Williams is a Vietnam vet who provides art and music therapy resources to V.A. facilities to help other veterans express themselves through art. After serving in Vietnam, “Kimo” used his G.I. Benefits in 1970 to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where he received a degree in composition. He continued his education and to serve in the US Army Reserve as Army Warrant Officer Bandmaster.

He is currently a full -time professor at Columbia College Chicago where he teaches Introduction to Black Music, Contemporary Music Theory, Jazz, and music fundamentals courses. His classical symphonies have been performed by orchestras all over the world including the St. Petersburg Russian Symphony, and featured in the Joffrey Ballet.