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Boney James: The Beat Goes On

Belinda Ware By

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Music is such a personal thing. When I am making a record, I want to make sure that I am feeling it.
Saxophonist Boney James is a prolific musician and songwriter gifted with an ear for creating music inspired by artistic expressionism. As an architect of original songs, James is an intellectual man of modest demeanor who has established himself as a musical pioneer in his intuitive discovery of the formula for longevity in his mellifluous career spanning three decades. At the root of his professional success is his meditative passion for exploring uncharted paths as a songwriter and interpreter of songs. As an instrumental artist, James is driven by his personal joy and curiosity to explore and discover new inventive aesthetics to creating sound in the key of jazz.

At the core of his personal perspective, James is a renaissance man motivated by a simple melody or a catchy hook brewing inside his inner being. In the spirit of pure innovation, James manages to keep the saxophone front and center as a veritable lead vocalist of melodic expression in the ever evolving world of contemporary jazz.

As a songsmith and interpreter of music, his creative flow is distinctive and incorporates his natural ability to touch the hearts of music listeners through honest melodies that mirror life's moments and experiences, emotionally as well as through the message behind the music. James has found a way to achieve all of this project by project through aiming to innovate in the sound of jazz and at the same time uncover new dimensions to his signature sound, as well as his message to the human race.

With a catalog of multiple charting records that span across his career to date, James has garnered both industry and public accolades with ten No. 1 Albums on Billboard, four gold albums, a Soul Train Award for Best Jazz Album along with a second nomination, four Grammy nominations, and two NAACP Image Award nominations.

When it comes to the live stage, James' public appeal as a jazz instrumentalist reflects his intuitive charisma to connect with his audience as he emotes a soaring improvisational serenade on the melody via his saxophone while walking across the stage to begin a concert set. James' performance style is reminiscent of the legendary Grover Washington Jr., whose instrumental voice is a source of continued inspiration to James' evolutionary musical style.

When it comes to his saxophone, it can be described as his bodacious duet partner seen by his side as he enters concert stages as well as when he goes in studio for a one-on-one radio interview illustrative of his dedication to his craft. James has found his niche in the present day jazz scene as a sought after main act on top jazz festivals and cruises where he continues to dominate as a crowd favorite and studio hit maker. In a recent interview, James described his view of what it's like to perform in a live concert setting. He shared, "After recording a song, I love performing it live because it grows and develops itself with each opportunity to play live. I can be free to improvise in the moment which is an amazing experience to share with fans."

James' talents as a music writer and arranger are rooted in his fascination with the power of harmonious sound and its unlimited potential to transform itself. His inspiration often emanates through his reflection upon the human emotions involved in life experiences with the goal to capture his perspective and feelings on the essence of love and the pursuit of happiness through his golden tenor sax. While working on his most recent project, he found himself in studio mixing variable degrees of intensities of Latin jazz, funk and R&B leading up to the recording of a fresh rhythmic exposition that has as its foundation the signature Boney James' sound.

The Beat (Concord Records, 2013) is James' most recent hit CD release that speaks volumes of the personal testimony of James' personality, perspective, and musicianship in depth and style. When asked about his inspiration for this project, he shared "I wanted to create a new project full of songs that represented where I am now as far as what I know about life, love and keeping it all fresh and new." When it comes to the musical interpretation of the project itself, James' performance in studio is concentrated coming from pure emotion and soul.

Overall The Beat embodies the essence of today's R&B mixed with Latin rhythms riding upon the foundation of contemporary jazz as seen in the variable instrumental tracks and collaborations introduced. James is grounded in his approach to creating music that emanates the aesthetics of touching human experiences (such as falling in love) from his personal perspective. The album includes up-tempo and soft ballads, representing a mixture of multiple genres building the foundation for songs like James' rendition of Sergio Mendes "Batucada."

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Album Reviews
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Album Reviews
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Futuresoul

Futuresoul

Concord Records
2015

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The Beat

The Beat

Concord Music Group
2013

buy
 

Contact

Concord Records
2011

buy
 

Send One Your Love

Concord Records
2009

buy
 

Christmas Present

Concord Records
2007

buy
 

Shine

Concord Records
2006

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Aug1Thu
Boney James
Fraze Pavilion
Kettering, OH
Aug2Fri
Boney James with special guest Will Downing
The Chicago Theatre
Chicago, IL
$50 - 100
Aug4Sun
Bob James, Marcus Miller, Boney James, David Sanborn
Greek Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Sep13Fri
Boney James
Byham Theater
Pittsburgh, PA
Oct18Fri
Boney James
Grand Opera House
Wilmington, DE
Oct24Thu
Boney James
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
Oct25Fri
Boney James
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA

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