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Boney James

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  • Born: Lowell, MA
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
  • Website: http://www.boneyjames.com/
  • Recent Activity: 05.22.16 RT @owdrumzz: I like to call this one #SPACE gotta let that groove breathe! #gottagiveitalilair robfonksta 😆… https://t.co/lN9FimR2qe
  • Boney James

  • Boney James

  • Boney James


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

A solid saxophonist whose style falls on the R&B-ish and pop side of jazz, Boney James (who is heavily influenced by Grover Washington Jr.) is a consistent best-seller who can always be relied upon to put on a colorful live show. Born James Oppenheim, he grew up in New Rochelle, New York. The future Boney James studied clarinet when he was eight, switching to saxophone two years later. When he was 15, his family moved to Los Angeles. James was soon playing in a fusion band (Line One) that was strong enough to open for Flora Purim and the Yellowjackets. After a year attending UC Berkeley, he transferred to UCLA so he could continue playing with the band. He earned a degree in history but became a full-time musician after graduation, doubling on keyboards. James went on the road as a keyboardist with Morris Day in 1985 and eventually convinced Day that he should be playing saxophone instead. He spent four years with Day and became an in-demand guest musician on tenor, alto, soprano, and flute, playing with Randy Crawford, Sheena Easton, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell, and others.

He picked up his nickname while on tour with Crawford. After mentioning to a keyboardist that he was running out of food money, the musician replied that if he ate any less, he would have to be called Boney James. The popular saxophonist made his debut as a leader with Trust in 1992 (Spindletop) and then in 1994 was signed by Warner Bros., where he recorded dates including Backbone, Seduction, Boney's Funky Christmas, Sweet Thing, Shake It Up, Ride, and Pure. In 2006, Boney made the move to Concord Records and released Shine. Send One Your Love followed in 2009. In 2010, while driving home after an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, James was rear-ended by another vehicle. The accident totaled James' car and left him with a fractured jaw and two missing teeth -- injuries that could have ended his playing career. James recuperated, and in 2011 he released Contact, an album whose title refers to the profound effect the accident had on his life and career. James re-signed with Concord in 2012. In the early spring of 2013, he released The Beat, an album that combined his love of R&B and Latin music. The set included guest appearances from Raheem DeVaughn and Floacist.

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
06.03.16 Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater Nashville, TN US
06.24.16 The Venue at Horseshoe Casino Hammond, IN US
06.26.16 Hampton Coliseum Hampton, VA US
07.08.16 Jazz Alley Seattle, WA US
07.16.16 Pioneer Amphitheater on the Campus of Cal State East Bay Hayward, CA US
08.10.16 Freedom Hill Amphitheatre Sterling Heights, MI US
08.19.16 Charleston Music Hall Charleston, SC US
08.30.16 B.B. King Blues Club & Grill New York, NY US
08.31.16 Wolf Trap Vienna, VA US
09.02.16 Wolf Creek Amphitheater Atlanta, GA US


  • 05.22.16 RT @owdrumzz: I like to call this one #SPACE gotta let that groove breathe! #gottagiveitalilair robfonksta 😆… https://t.co/lN9FimR2qe
  • 05.20.16 New show just added! @MountAiryCasino in Mt Pocono PA Oct 22nd. https://t.co/ejNlLDzeqc
  • 05.20.16 DMV, our @Wolf_Trap show with the amazing @MarshaAmbrosius is onsale now! https://t.co/bJyEfVuEez
  • 05.19.16 RT @TownshipSC: #ColumbiaWinterJazzFest returns 11/4-11/5 w/an AWESOME line-up! @boneyjames @NajeeOfficial + more. Tix on sale NOW! https:…
  • 05.19.16 We were having some fun at Pittsburgh #ByhamTheatre! See you out there on the road somewhere. :) https://t.co/3oKSHfFDVO
  • 05.18.16 Philly! Coming your way Oct 23rd at the @keswicktheatre . #futuresoultour https://t.co/PBU2azbH4D https://t.co/osM8B0VwhA
  • 05.16.16 Boston just added! Oct 20th at @the_wilbur #futuresoultour https://t.co/pvDOuLs84j
  • 05.14.16 Think we will b back in the fall, Thx! https://t.co/htc9gELzCW
  • 05.13.16 RT @lilymariye: Thank you @CallieKhouri for inviting me to direct your beautiful show! I will be forever grateful. ❤️💕 https://t.co/t80psaz…
  • 05.13.16 We voted by mail today! #YourVoteIsYourVoice. Really glad to make mine heard. Vote! https://t.co/stIKfodrrN
  • 05.13.16 Detroit! @FreedomHillMI show on 8/10 is having a $20 special starting today for @LiveNation #KickOffTheSummer! https://t.co/G3AYPqt2Ae
  • 05.12.16 Rodney Strong Winery June 18th onsale now! Really nice there, can't wait. @morganajames too! https://t.co/8Qs4KFYFIl @rsvineyards