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REHOBOTH BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL ARTIST PROFILE

Saxophonist Boney James’ new album ‘Honestly’ hits No. 1 on charts

James to perform at Rehoboth Jazz Festival Oct. 14
Boney James will perform Oct. 14 during the Rehoboth Jazz Festival. FILE PHOTO
October 11, 2017

“Tone, or the ‘sound’ of my horn is really crucial to me,” says the 4-time Grammy nominated James Oppenhein - tagged “Boney James” in his early 20s as a thin, struggling musician. The winner of four RIAA gold albums, a Soul Train award and an NAACP award nomination continues, “I practice my saxophone in my back yard studio every day when I’m not on the road. I’m still dedicated to trying to be a better player. I spend much of my time with a keyboard next to me and a computer behind me. So when I get a creative idea, I’ll reach over to the keyboard and pick out a few notes or record myself singing a melody. I start gathering pieces. Then I’ll build on them and gradually they turn into songs. I get more and more excited and start spending 14-hour days out there. Before I know it, I’ve made an album!”

Of course this process would not be possible if James weren’t so skilled with the production technology; he says he views digital production as an instrument in itself. 

The ‘analog’ sound of the sax combined with the digital sounds of modern production contribute to the sonic tension that fuels the great majority of his work, including his most recent album, Honestly, featuring Avery*Sunshine and Eric Roberson. Boney is excited about his 16th CD: “The title reflects how I aspire to live my life and create my music. I try to do what I can to make the world a more pleasant place.” Nine of the ten cuts are co-written by James, and he states that “Honestly is an affirmation of the power of music.”

"Honestly" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz and Contemporary Jazz charts and remained there for three weeks. “Honestly" debuted at No. 22 on the Billboard Current Albums chart. The album's two singles are also creating a multi-format success story on radio.

"Tick Tock," the first instrumental single from the album, is No. 1 on Billboard's Smooth Jazz airplay chart. "Honestly," the first R&B single from the album, featuring vocalist Avery*Sunshine, is No. 29 on the Billboard Adult Urban charts.

This release also marks James’ 25th anniversary as a solo artist. For more information, go to boneyjames.com.

His free-wheeling, vibrant show will kick off in concert at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Performing Arts Theater at Cape Henlopen High School.  

 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival Info