James W. Newton (b. Los Angeles, California, May 1, 1953) is a prominent American jazz flautist, composer, and conductor. From his earliest years, James Newton grew up immersed in the sounds of African American music, including urban blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel. In his early teens he played electric bass guitar, alto saxophone, and clarinet. In high school he took up the flute, influenced by Eric Dolphy and Roland Kirk.