Boney James

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Boney James
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Boney James
By James Minchin
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Boney James
By Andrew Lepley

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One of the most popular saxophonists in the “smooth” and urban jazz arena, Boney James was born James Oppenheim in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1961 and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. James studied clarinet at eight, switching to saxophone two years later. He was 15 when his family moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after, James was playing in the fusion band Line One and had opportunities with the group to open for Flora Purim and Yellowjackets. He attended Berkeley for a year but transferred to UCLA so he could continue playing with Line One. He earned a degree in history but never really used it because he became a fulltime musician right after graduating.

James went on the road with Morris Day in 1985 as a keyboardist, in time convincing Day that James should playing saxophones instead. After four years with Day, James became greatly in-demand for his playing on tenor, alto, soprano and flute, working with Sheena Easton, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell and Randy Crawford, among others. While on tour with Crawford, he mentioned to a keyboardist that he was running out of food money. The keyboardist joked that if he ate any less, he would have to be called Boney James; the name stuck. He made his recording debut as a leader with 1992’s Trust and, influenced by Grover Washington Jr., Boney James was a hit from the start. He has since recorded 10 CDs, including many for Warner Bros. and most recently Shine for Concord. Boney James, who has also teamed up with trumpeter Rick Braun, is a regular headliner at festivals.

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Articles on Boney James

07/05/13    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

The Beat
Boney James

06/09/11    Albums    By Brian Soergel

Contact
Boney James

06/09/11    Albums    By Brian Soergel

Contact
Boney James

01/22/10    News    By Lee Mergner

Grammy Does Jazz

11/23/09    News    By Lee Mergner

US Postal Service Selling Letters To Santa, Jazz and Vocal Compilation CD

April 2009    Currents    By Brian Soergel

Send One Your Love
Boney James

January/February 2007    Currents    By Brian Soergel

Forever, for Always, for Luther
Various Artists

November 2006    Features    By

Autumn Chill: Smooth Jazzers Reflect on their Hard-Jazz Heroes

November 2006    Currents    By Brian Soergel

Shine
Boney James

November 2006    Currents    By Brian Soergel

Shine
Boney James

06/14/05    Concerts    By Chris Walker

Playboy Jazz Festival 2005

11/22/04    Concerts    By Brian Soergel

Boney James and Norman Brown in Seattle

October 2004    Currents    By Lucy Tauss

Pure
Boney James

October 2004    Currents    By Lucy Tauss

Forever, for Always, for Luther
Various Artists

October 2004    Currents    By Lucy Tauss

Forever, for Always, for Luther
Various Artists

October 2004    Currents    By Lucy Tauss

Pure
Boney James

January/February 2002    Currents    By Lucy Tauss

Ride
Boney James

July/August 1999    Currents    By Hilarie Grey

Body Language
Boney James

October 1997    Features    By Patricia Myers

Boney James: Clearing the Air

October 1997    Currents    By Hilarie Grey

Sweet Thing
Boney James

Albums

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Body Language

Warner Brothers
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Sweet Thing

Warner Brothers
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Ride

Warner Brothers
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Pure

Warner Brothers
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Playboy Jazz: In a Smooth Groove

Playboy
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Shine

Concord Records
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Forever, for Always, for Luther

GRP
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Send One Your Love

Concord Records
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Contact

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