(Los Angeles, CA) – Valley Performing Arts Center continues to bring diverse programming to the Valley with a new addition to the 2016-17 season: jazz and hip-hop vocalist, José James presents Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday on November 3 at 8pm. Featuring a live band with Takeshi Ohbayashi on keys, Solomon Dorsey on bass and vocals and Nate Smith on drums, this evening will pay tribute to Holiday, who José James cites as his “musical mother.”
VPAC’s Executive Director, Thor Steingraber said, “José James has one of the finest young voices in all of jazz, and is a thoughtful and versatile interpreter of standards among other styles. When I saw him perform at the Hollywood Bowl last year, I knew his unique fusion of soul, jazz, and hip-hop, paying tribute to one of music’s greatest vocalists, would sound otherworldly in our space and I can’t wait to share his artistry with our audiences.”
“My first clear musical memory is of Billie Holiday,” writes James in the album’s liner notes. “Billie’s voice floated through our house – grand, warm, intimate, and wholly unique.” Those same words could certainly be applied to James’ own voice, a versatile baritone that is distinct in its richness and expressiveness.
“Yesterday I Had the Blues” received remarkable reviews from esteemed Jazz writers across the world. Jazz Times called the album, “One for the ages…flawless. James’ sound, like Holiday’s, is utterly unique, blending the noble authority of Billy Eckstine with the interpretive intuition of Mel Tormé and the soulfulness of Sam Cooke.” The Guardian says, “José James has long sounded like the real deal, and never more so than here.”
James’s flexibility and omnivorous musical taste is reflected in his hugely diverse résumé, which includes work with jazz great Chico Hamilton as well as electronica hero Flying Lotus. In his review for The New York Times, writer Ben Ratliff described James as “a romantic baritone with a deep-funk band, stretching out songs, evoking both the ’70s of Roberta Flack and Gil Scott-Heron and the ’90s and oughts of J Dilla.”
Named one of Interview magazine’s “13 Faces of 2013” and now a veteran of national television appearances on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman. José James’s forthcoming album, “Love in a Time of Madness,” will be James’ 4th album with the world-famous Blue Note label. The album, which will be released in early 2017, showcases a broad range of international writers and producers that extend the R&B and hip-hop thread that has run throughout much of his work. A deep and soulful young vocalist whose international profile has exploded in the last few years, José James has transcended his reputation as a jazz singer to embrace influences including R&B, Moroccan Gnawa music, hip-hop and gospel.
Visit the website of José James here
Calendar Listing for José James presents Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday
Venue: Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330
Date: Thursday, November 3 at 8:00pm
Tickets: Price: Starting at $28
In Person: VPAC Ticket Office, located in the VPAC Courtyard
By Phone: (818) 677-3000