Interview: Jose James Checks In Before SummerStage on August 11

 

jose

Before hitting SummerStage this Sunday, August 11, Jose James catches up with us about his relationship to Giant Step, his growth as an artist, and what’s up next.

Giant Step: How would you say Giant Step most influenced your music and/or career?

Jose James: Wow. It’s been so great, thank you guys. The first show was at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC opening for the amazing Alice Russell. Then we started the Brownswood Sessions at Nublu with DJ Moni and Taylor McFerrin. Beautiful times! Giant Step really paved the way for what I do, connecting hip-hop, soul, jazz and DJ culture. The London connection, Gilles Peterson, all that. It’s a global movement to present quality music.

GS: We’ve been with you from the start and it’s been a pleasure to see you progress; how would you say No Beginning No End Jose has evolved from The Dreamer Jose?

JJ: Well, I’m more well traveled. That influences you tremendously. When I made The Dreamer I was still in school and had only been to a couple places outside the US – now I’ve toured in 40 countries and counting. I’m actually in Mexico right now. You meet people and see how your music is loved worldwide and that’s a powerful thing. Now I have worldwide family and a great relationship with my fans. It’s beautiful. Musically I’m more comfortable expressing all the worlds I love – soul, R&B, jazz, rock, blues, gospel, hip-hop – and you can hear that on the new album, and in the collaborations – Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Hindi Zahra.

GS: And where do you see yourself going next? Any challenges/goals you’re keen on tackling?

JJ: I’d like to reconnect with electronic music. I just dropped an EP on Blue Note with remixes by FaltyDL, Oddisee, fLako, and Taylor McFerrin. I lived in London for a year and went to Plastic People, Fabric, Cargo and met great DJs and producers like Benji B, Benga and Skream, Floating Points. So I miss that and want to do more in that world. I’m working on a new album now for next year called Desire.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

New Release: Jose James – ‘No Beginning No End’

 

The day is finally here for the new Jose James album, No Beginning No End. The work introduces Jose to a more universal audience through his graceful and astute plays with varied styles and genres on the album. He weaves together a sound that is so much more than just jazz and like Robert Glasper did with Black Radio, creates a bridge to help build a new musical frontier.

The star collaborators on the album help it sparkle and shine only more. Producer/bassist Pino Palladino, Glasper, Emily King, Hindi Zahra, and Kris Bowers are just a few of the talents that have helped transcend this project to its highest heights. In case you missed the NPR stream, definitely do kick off your shoes and take a little afternoon break for a listen – you won’t be disappointed.

New Yorkers! Tomorrow is going to be an unforgettable, magical night at the Highline Ballroom as Jose kicks off his US tour with an album release show. Find more details on our event page.

Also, read the recent New York Times article to get a closer look at Jose’s journey and the path that led him to where he is today.

Enter our contest to win No Beginning No End

Enter our contest to win tickets to the NYC album release show tomorrow!

Tour Dates
Jan. 23 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
Jan. 24 – Howard Theatre – Washington DC
Jan. 26 – Scullers – Boston, MA
Jan. 29 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
Jan. 30 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
Feb. 10-Mar. 6 – Asia & Australia Tour
Mar. 8 – San Jose Jazz WinterFest – San Jose, CA
Mar. 9 – The New Parish – Oakland, CA
Mar. 10 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
Mar. 12 – The Del Monte Speakeasy – Los Angeles, CA

Purchase No Beginning No End on iTunes | Amazon

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Interview: Jose James on Blue Note Signing & 5/11 NYC Show

 

In anticipation of his show at Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) tomorrow and his recent signing to Blue Note, we caught up with the heart-melting José James to get the latest on some very exciting developments. After hearing more about what Jose has to say about No Beginning, No End as well as the LPR show – we’re just about losing it with excitement!

Details for the show are below. Also, enter our contest to win tickets to tomorrow’s show.

Giant Step: Congratulations on signing with Blue Note! How does it feel?

Jose James: It feels fantastic – it’s a dream come true. Blue Note is everyone’s favorite classic jazz label and it’s exciting to bring something fresh to the legacy.

GS: What can we expect on the new album? And what excites you most about this new project?

JJ: First of all, the new album features Pino Palladino – the legend! Truly an honor to work with him. Chris “Daddy” Dave, Robert Glapser, Hindi Zahra, Richard Spaven, Emily King – it’s a stellar cast. It’s a mix of soul, R&B, gospel, jazz, and singer-songwriter. It’s truly a deeper look into who I am as an artist, outside of just jazz. I co-wrote with many of the artists above, as well as Fink and Amp Fiddler. I feel this is a definitive album for me and so far my best work. It’s been two years in the making! Sonically it’s way ahead of my other albums and I have engineers Brian Bender and Russ Elevado to thank for that.

GS: When can we hear No Beginning, No End – when does it drop?!

JJ: Well I just signed, so now we’re doing photoshoots and planning videos. Definitely will drop some new music this fall – stay tuned at josejamesmusic.com for updates! In the meantime, I’m showcasing new material in my live shows and will start touring worldwide.

GS: What can folks look forward to at this show?

JJ: I got Taylor McFerrin with me – he’s so amazing. Emily King special guest, and a fantastic band: Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Andy Hunter trombone, Samora Pinderhughes keys, Ben Williams bass, and Nate Smith on drums. We keep it funky and real soulful!

GS: Any other special news you’re able to share with Giant Step fans?

JJ: Look out for remixes and vinyl – this is the album you’ve been waiting for.

Event Details
José James with Special Guests, plus Taylor McFerrin

Friday, May 11, 2012
Doors 7pm

(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY

Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door
Purchase tickets

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SXSW 2012 Photo Wrap Up + Top Fives

 

Photos by Seher Sikandar and Ashleigh Reddy.

Bare legs and beautiful people, music blasting from every doorway, epic parties with blow up rafts for crowd surfing, and more good eats than you can count on your fingers and toes, South by Southwest (SXSW) is the epitome of camp for adults. Above, take a little peek into our time at SXSW with this photo slideshow from some of our favorite shows!

We’ll leave you with a couple fun top 5 lists of our SXSW highlights – our top 5 performances and our top 5 places to eat!

Top 5 Performances

Alice Smith – The woman can sing her behind off, first of all. Every time we’ve seen her perform it’s all heart and soul – you watch her feel the spirit and are compelled to be moved by it right alongside her. Just epic. She also sang a few new cuts off of her upcoming album that will be coming out this year – and yes, they are amazing.

Michael Kiwanuka – Another magnificent voice. As we walked up the stairs to the church Michael was performing in, we couldn’t help but find ourselves in disbelief yet again at the voice emanating from the stairway and the walls – we had to be in a time warp, right? Was that voice really coming of this humble young man in 2012? Once we entered the room of jam packed pews, we became witnesses to our seeming fantasy becoming reality. Simply beautiful.

THEESatisfaction – So much flavor and heaps of attitude, these ladies are entertainers. With lyrics about bisexuality and racial identity, they also aren’t afraid to push the envelope and talk about things that actually matter. The melodic, often dense, dark, throbbing sound enraptures you like you never knew how you were without it before.

Erykah Badu – Anyone that’s seen a few Badu shows knows that no one show is ever the same. The lady can fill up a stadium with charm enough to make you think she was your homegirl talking just to you. In her home state, Erykah does not play – at all. The energy was the livest of live and we took it all in.

Rick Ross – Rawse at the Fader Fort. What else is there really left to say? Call and responses reduced to grunts and a hysterical crowd of hipster fans = everything you’ll ever need in life.

Read about our top 5 places to eat after the jump

NYC: Hindi Zahra Live @ Hiro Ballroom – Oct 19 + KCRW Album Preview

 

Hindi Zahra’s tour is now nearing a close, which means she is that much nearer to her final date at CMJ in NYC! Join her with some other wonderful acts at the France Rocks showcase on October 19th. More details on the event and RSVP below.

If you’re curious to hear more from her recently released album, Handmade, take advantage of KCRW’s full stream that runs until November! The folks over at KCRW definitely got good taste.

Event Details
Bureauexport Party – “France Rocks CMJ Night”
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
8PM – 12AM
Hindi Zahra at 9PM

Hiro Ballroom
88 9th Avenue
(btwn 16th&17th)
New York, NY

Free with RSVP

Purchase Handmade on iTunes | Amazon

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