Jim Feist has been performing and teaching the tabla since 1990. He has traveled to India several times to learn tabla from the late, legendary Ustad Allah Rakha, and Vibhav Nageshkar. For the past 14 years Jim has been under the tutelage of Ustad Allah Rakha's celebrated disciple, Pandit Yogesh Samsi. He has also studied from Sukvinder Singh Namdhari, Samir Chatterji, Anand Badamakar, and a handful of other notable players. His interaction with such tabla intellectuals as Pandit Sudhir Mainkar and Dr. Lowell Lybarger have also enhanced his knowledge of this vast art-form. He teaches tabla as an Adjunct at the College Conservatory of Music at U.C. He also teaches privately in Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio. Jim shares his time between Cincinnati, Ohio and Pune, India.
Jim has been recorded on several albums by composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran for two all India releases, and an album of pure Dhrupad music called "Banaras" released in March '06. He has also recorded with Fareed Haque, Autumns Child, Aradhna, David Wilcox, Mike Cohen Kirtan, Ron Esposito, Peter Mayer, and with the group he co-founded Mohenjo Daro ("Baksheesh" on Tandem Records and "Rajdhani Express" also on Tandem records). In 2003 and 2004, Mohenjo Daro won back to back "Cincinnati Entertainment Awards" for "Best World Band". Jim also composed the music and performed all the percussion on his debut solo disc Indus Red.
As a session tabla player Jim has been recorded on many discs over the years. In late 2007 he had the priviledge of performing for the President of Bangladesh and in August 2009 for the Governor of the State of Ohio. His new c.d. The "Mughals" Suite is available as of January 2016. Jim has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on several occasions, and at the Montreal Jazz-Festival twice (2002 and 2005) with Mohenjo Daro. He has shared the stage with many fusion stalwarts including The Buddy Rich Big Band bassist Dave Larocca, Greg Osby, and Fareed Haque. He has also performed solo tabla with his teacher Yogesh Samsi. In 2016 Jim played on the record from the CCM Jazz Dept "In Search of Garaj Mahal" featuring Fareed Haque. This music was premiered live at JEN (Jazz Educators Network) in Louisville Ky to a packed (and extremely enthusiastic) house.
Jim has also accompanied Bollywood giant Mahendra Kapoor, Budhadev Das Gupta, Laxmi Shankar, Anupama Bhagwat, Kirana vocalist Mowna Ramachandra, Smt. Aditi Upadhya, and Kankana Banerjee, and a host of other Indian Classical musicians. He has performed Sufi/Qawalli music many times and has performed with the great Dr. Karim Gillani and the great West African Sufi artist Moussa Dieng Kala.