Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers

7pm: Doors and set by Chale Brown aka Thomas Ramon (Universal Grammar)
8pm: Headliner

A 10pm standing show is available

Celebrating the eightieth birth year of the legendary R&B singer/songwriter Bill Withers, Blue Note recording artist José James presents an exploration of Withers’ deep musical catalogue that touched millions of hearts worldwide.

Featuring Withers’ top ten hits as well as his soul ballads and rare grooves, James brings both a deep musical appreciation and a contemporary approach to the songs and has assembled a truly all-star cast of musicians for the project.

José James last performed for San Jose Jazz at Winter Fest 2013. Often referred to as a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, the New York City-based vocalist combines jazz, soul, drum’n’bass, and spoken word into his own unique brand of vocal jazz.

James released his full-length debut album, Dreamer, in 2008 on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint. He signed with Blue Note in 2012 and the resulting album, No Beginning, No End, brought him worldwide acclaim and performances at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Billboard Live Tokyo, Centro Cultural São Paolo, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Central Park Summerstage in New York, and London’s Royal Festival Hall. James’ latest is Love in a Time of Madness, and he will release an album of the music of Bill Withers in 2018.


José James, vocals
Nate Smith, drums
Ben Williams, bass
Sullivan Fortner, keyboards
Brad Allen Williams, guitar

Special Thanks

Co-presented by Universal Grammar

Photo credit: Janette Beckman