|Birth name||James Oppenheim|
|Born||September 1, 1961|
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, contemporary jazz, R&B|
Boney James (born James Oppenheim on September 1, 1961) is an American saxophonist, songwriter, and record producer.
Boney James is a four-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Pop Instrumental Album, 2001, 2004, 2014 and Best Traditional R&B Performance, 2009) and a Soul Train Award winner (Best Jazz Album 1998). He has also been honored with two NAACP Image Award nominations for Best Jazz Album.James has sold over three million albums, and has accumulated four RIAA Certified Gold Records. In 2009, Billboard magazine named James one of the Top 3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Decade.
Boney James took up the clarinet at the age of eight, switching to sax when he was ten.Boney spent his early teen years in New Rochelle, New York and became musically influenced by the R&B Motown genre and saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.. When James was fourteen his family moved to Los Angeles, where he joined a fusion band that opened for acts like Flora Purim and the Yellowjackets. Another member of this early band was John Shanks, now a successful pop producer. James eventually received a degree in History from UCLA, but began playing music full-time after graduation. James learned to play keyboards and in 1985 he joined Morris Day's band. His R&B influence was further strengthened by seven years of touring and sessions as a sideman with Day, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford, Teena Marie and others. It was on the road with Crawford in 1986 that he earned his now-famous moniker, when his physique led a bandmate to joke "We'll have to start calling you Boney James!"
In the early 1990s while on tour with Bobby Caldwell's band James met engineer and producer Paul Brown, beginning a 10-year period of collaboration. In 1992 Boney released his debut album as a leader, Trust, on the independent record label Spindletop Records. Following the record's success, James was signed by the Warner Brothers label in 1994. He released the RIAA Certified Gold Records, Seduction, Sweet Thing and Body Language on Warner Brothers.
In 2000 he collaborated with trumpeter Rick Braun on an album called Shake it Up. Their duets include the now classic updated version of Hugh Masakela's "Grazin' in the Grass". Other artists who have made guest appearances on Boney's records include Raheem DeVaughn, Faith Evans, George Benson, George Duke, Dwele, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey, Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim, Eric Benét, Dave Hollister, Stokley Williams, Avery*Sunshine, Kenny Lattimore and Angie Stone.
James began co-producing his records with Brown in 1997, and assumed the role of sole producer starting with his Grammy-nominated Pure album in 2003. Following a string of chart-topping albums, in 2006 James moved to Concord Recordsand released Shine which posted his career highest Billboard Pop Chart position to that date (No. 44 on the Top 200). His 2009 album, Send One Your Love earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance. James' 2013 album The Beat received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
On May 15, 2010, James was involved in a car crash coming home from a performance when he was rear ended by a drunk driver. James suffered a fractured jaw, two shattered teeth and facial lacerations. He was sidelined for two months.
In 2014, James produced two songs on Al Jarreau's George Duke tribute album My Old Friend , "No Rhyme No Reason" (feat. Kelly Price) and "Bring Me Joy" (feat. George Duke).
In 2015, he released futuresoul (featuring production work from Nutty P Beats) which spent eleven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. futuresoul was the bestselling Contemporary Jazz Record of 2015.In August 2015, James made his first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon .
2017 saw the release of Honestly, his 16th album (which also featured production from Nutty P Beats). The record became James' eleventh No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart and also reached No. 22 on the Billboard Current Albums Chart, his highest pop chart debut to date.
June 2020 Boney released his 17th studio album Solid. Boney James described the record as "a reaction to how stressful the world feels these days. Music is a respite, it’s always ‘solid’ and it never lets me down."The CD broke his previous Pop Chart record, debuting at #10 on the Billboard Top Albums Chart.
Boney James is married to actress and director Lily Mariye. In 2012 he contributed an original score to her feature film directorial debut, Model Minority.
George M. Duke was an American keyboardist, composer, singer-songwriter and record producer. He worked with numerous artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums, of which A Brazilian Love Affair from 1979 was his most popular, as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
Alwin Lopez Jarreau was an American singer and musician. His 1981 album Breakin' Away spent two years on the Billboard 200 and is considered one of the finest examples of the Los Angeles pop and R&B sound. The album won Jarreau the 1982 Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. In all, he won seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for over a dozen more during his career.
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Maurice White was an American singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer. He was the founder, leader, main songwriter, and producer of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, and served as the band's co-lead singer with Philip Bailey. Described as a "visionary" by Vibe and a "mastermind" by Variety, White was nominated for a total of 22 Grammys, of which he won seven. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire, and was also inducted individually into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He additionally worked with artists such as Deniece Williams, Cher, The Emotions, Barbra Streisand, Ramsey Lewis, and Neil Diamond.
Philip James Bailey is an American R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer, songwriter and percussionist, best known as an early member and one of the two lead singers of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. Noted for his four-octave vocal range and distinctive falsetto register, Bailey has won seven Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire. Bailey was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work with the band.
Regina Elaine Belle is an American singer-songwriter who started her career in the mid-1980s. Known for her singles "Baby Come to Me" (1989) and "Make It Like It Was" (1990), Belle's most notable for two hit duets, both with Peabo Bryson: "Without You", the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6, recorded in 1987 and "A Whole New World", the main theme of the Disney's animated feature film Aladdin, recorded in 1992, with which Belle and Bryson won the Grammy award. The theme song "Far Longer than Forever" from the animated movie The Swan Princess, performed with Jeffrey Osborne, was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1995 for Best Original Song.
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Jeffrey H. Lorber is an American keyboardist, composer, and record producer. After six previous nominations, Lorber won his first Grammy Award on January 28, 2018 for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Prototype by his band The Jeff Lorber Fusion.
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Gregory Allen Kurstin is an American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. He has won eight Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year, Non-Classical twice in 2017 and 2018.
Breakin' Away is an album by Al Jarreau, released on June 30, 1981, through the Warner Bros. Records label. To quote Allmusic, "Breakin' Away became the standard bearer of the L.A. pop and R&B sound."
This Time is the fourth studio album by Jazz vocalist Al Jarreau, released in 1980 on Warner Bros. Records. The release marked a change in Jarreau's sound to a more R&B-oriented flavor. As a result, the album achieved more success on the mainstream charts than his previous works, while also topping the Jazz Charts. It also reached No. 6 on the R&B charts and No. 27 on the Billboard 200." In 1981 "Never Givin' Up" gave Jarreau a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male.
L Is for Lover is a studio album by Al Jarreau, released in September 1986 on Warner Bros. Records. It reached #30 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart, #9 on the Traditional Jazz Albums chart, and #17 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
Clarence "Mac" McDonald was a Los Angeles-based American pianist, composer, arranger, and producer. McDonald was known for his musical diversity, enduring melodies and signature groove. His most famous composition is Silly sung by Deniece Williams in 1981 and Taral Hicks in 1997. In 2010, the song's instrumental intro and bridge were sampled in Monica's seven week-long Billboard No. 1 R&B Grammy nominated song "Everything To Me". He worked with a long list of entertainment icons including Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Justin Timberlake, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Carole King, Taral Hicks, Freddy Hubbard, Nancy Wilson, Boz Scaggs, Seals & Crofts, Bill Withers, and the Jackson 5. McDonald performed on the all-star benefit album Jazz For Japan, released in September 2011.
"Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter James Taylor, from his 1972 album One Man Dog. It was released as the lead single from the album, and peaked at No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on January 13, 1973. It also reached No. 3 Easy Listening. In Canada, the song reached No. 18 on the Pop Singles chart and No. 7 AC.
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Gregg Field is an American record producer and musician, who has worked with many well-known artists. He is a recipient of multiple Grammy and Emmy awards.