James Edward Rhodes was born into a middle-class Jewish family in St. John's Wood in north London. He studied at the Arnold House School, a private school for boys where he suffered sexual abuse from his physical education teacher, who died before the trial. In this situation Rhodes suffered both mentally and physically, which would lead to an eating disorder, spinal cord injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Later he would take piano lessons, but did not progress beyond the third grade and learned mainly in a self-taught way. He entered a local boarding school and later entered the Harrow School, where he would study with piano teacher Colin Stone from the age of 13 onwards. During this time he participated in the televised program Young Musician of the Year of the national chain, but it would not happen of the second round. In December 2009 Rhodes finished filming a musical documentary for the BBC Four celebrating the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin, about his life and his relationship with opera singer Jenny Lind. In July of 2013 he presented Notes from the Inside, with James Rhodes on Channel 4 as part of his Mad4Music season, where in 2007 he released a series of seven episodes called James Rhodes: Piano Man. Each episode features musicians from across the musical spectrum. Giving an alternative perspective of music, both for them and for their environment. Rhodes has filmed in two parts a series called Do not Stop the Music (working title The Great Instrument Amnesty) emitted in September of 2014 by Channel 4, with the intention to improve the musical education in the UK, including a collection of 7000 instruments for Redistribute in 150 primary schools in the UK, reaching 10 000 students. In December of 2016 appeared in the program "Salvados", where it deals with subjects related to the sexual abuse and the music.