José James

Minneapolis native singer-songwriter José James has taken a long, unusual path to a little-trampled spot where jazz, R&B, hip-hop, soul, electronica, and, lately, rock come together. While still a teenager he associated with local experimental jazz icons like Douglas Ewart, went to New York's New School, picked up mentors like Junior Mance and Chico Hamilton, eventually went on to Europe, then back to New York and offered a completed album to Blue Note, which released No Beginning No End intact to general acclaim last year. James's sleek voice can range from baritone to near-falsetto, and he's adept at the nuances of multiple genres: sophisticated jazz standards, hints of Bobby Blue Bland blues, the sensuousness of intimate R&B, Al Green's soulful sweep. James covers Reverend Green on his forthcoming (June 10) album While You Were Sleeping, which also introduces a stronger rock component via guitarist Brad Allen Williams. Opening will be James's keyboardist, Kris Bowers, who has a similarly elastic approach to jazz and modern R&B.
Mon., April 21, 7 p.m., 2014

 
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