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.
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