James Francies - San Jose Jazz

James Francies

Winter Series
Sat, Feb 3
7pm Doors, 8pm showtime (Pacific)
$25 / SJZ Break Room

Plenty of young musicians show promise, but very few enjoy the sort of meteoric rise that pianist, keyboardist and composer James Francies is currently experiencing. At 28, with his extraordinary debut album Flight on storied Blue Note Records under his belt, James brings together his jazz mastery with pop, hip-hop and R&B.

Called “a pianist with liquid dynamism in his touch” by The New York Times, Francies started on piano around age 4 and came up in Houston’s prestigious High School of the Arts, an incubator of other era-defining jazz talent like Robert Glasper and Jason Moran. Blessed with perfect pitch and synesthesia (or the ability to hear in colors), he counts among his influences pianists like Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum;  guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Mike Moreno;  and such trumpet masters as Nicholas Payton and Freddie Hubbard.

He’s played with jazz headliners like Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Stefon Harris, Eric Harland and Terrace Martin, and racked up equally impressive credits in hip-hop and R&B including shows with Ms. Lauryn Hill, José James, Common and Drake, plus  appearances with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon alongside his mentor and friend Questlove.

Following his smash debut album Flight, James’ most recent album Purest Form accesses intimate chambers of his artistry, interpreting love, grief, frailty, and fortitude. Consisting mostly of originals, the album garnered four stars on DownBeat which said of the artist: “the pianist doesn’t so much compose music as conjure fascinating nebulae of sound.”



Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, R&B


James Francies - piano Damion Reid - drums Mike Moreno - guitar

SJZ Break Room

Our popup venue and video recording studio that we've developed in our offices at 310 S. First (map) at San Carlos in San Jose’s SoFA District. The technology of the space is first-class with marvelous sound, lighting and video, and all the action is projection-mapped to a 35′ X 14′ bank of windows, providing the show free to the public and enlivening downtown street life.

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