James Genus (January 20, 1966) is an American jazz bassist. He plays both electric bass guitar and upright bass and currently plays in the Saturday Night Live Band. Genus has performed as a session musician and sideman throughout his career, with an impressive list of artists with whom he has worked.
Genus was born in Hampton, Virginia. He began on guitar at age six and switched to bass at 13. He studied at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1983 to 1987 and played for a summer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Then moved to New York City, where he quickly began working with many noted players on the city's jazz scene. He has played with Out of the Blue (1988–89), Horace Silver (1989), Roy Haynes and Don Pullen (1989–91), Nat Adderley (1990), Greg Osby and New York Voices (1990–91), Jon Faddis (1991), T.S. Monk (1991), Benny Golson (1991), Dave Kikoski (1991), Bob Berg (1991–96), Geoffrey Keezer (1992), Lee Konitz (1992), Michael Brecker (1992–96), Bob James (since 1994), Michel Camilo (since 1995), Elysian Fields (since 1995), Branford Marsalis (1996), Chick Corea (1996), Dave Douglas (1996), Uri Caine (1997), Global Theory (1997), Ravi Coltrane (2000), Bill Evans (2005), Herbie Hancock (2008), and Daft Punk (2013).