The son of a rock ‘n’ roll hall-of-fame bass-playing father and a free-spirited accordion-playing mother, Jamie grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by musicians, filmmakers and other artistic types. His mother hired teachers to give him piano lessons at an early age, but due to the rigidity of their approaches, he lost interest. Several years later, Jamie heard Ennio Morricone’s score for The Mission and was instantly hooked on film music. Approaching the piano again on his own terms, Jamie discovered that he could pick out melodies and harmonies by ear. Shortly after he began composing his own music. Jamie instinctively knew that he wanted to be a film composer.
In 1993, Jamie attended the liberal arts school, Vassar College, in New York. While there, he studied formal classical theory, counterpoint and music history. He excelled in the class work and won several school composition awards, but his real musical education came from playing at night in the local scene with jazz, funk and rock bands. Jamie also started scoring student films and theatrical productions.