Jose James to perform jazz, hip hop, funk, blues with orchestra

MONMOUTH — Singer-songwriter Jose James has always been on the quest for new musical horizons, constantly evolving and blurring the lines between genres in the process.

James keeps his trademark soulful baritone at the forefront and adeptly weaves elements of indie rock, folk, funk, blues, hip hop and R&B into an experience journeying from desire to introspection and spiritual epiphany.

Since the beginning, the Minneapolis native has taken inspiration from a variety of artists, eagerly awaiting the release of new albums from the likes of 10,000 Maniacs and Ice Cube.

James set his sights on New York City and entered the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Conspiring with classmates and flourishing under the tutelage of jazz luminaries, he found himself in a rich fabric of diverse musical contemporaries.

He remembers, “I just started putting all this stuff together. For me, it was never about whether it was jazz or hip-hop. It was all about creative people who just had different sounds.”

The New York Times has praised his “cool and confident” album “No Beginning No End,” released in 2013.

NPR Music raved that “James makes utterly contemporary music.”

The American Metropole Orchestra will join James as they debut a show tailor-made for his exceptional talent.

James is indeed a fearless artist.

If You Go …

Who: Jose James and the American Metropole Orchestra

What: Final performance in the Edgar H. Smith Fine Arts Series.

Where: Western Oregon University, 345 N. Monmouth St., Monmouth.

When: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets: General admission $25 in advance and $28 at the door; students $11.

For more information: 503-838-8333; email to fineart@wou.edu; online at wou.edu/sfa.

Polk County Itemizer-Observer