Boney James

Boney James

MARCH 14 • 8PM

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Tickets: $129.50, $119.50, $109.50, $99.50, $25 | Limit 8 tickets per mailing address

DOORS 7PM • SHOWTIME 8PM
The Vogel • Basie Center Campus • 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank


Detour, on Concord Records, is chart-topping jazz/R&B sax player Boney James’ 18th studio album. Appropriately titled, this latest album is a subtle stylistic turn that builds on the commercial success of 2020’s Solid, his highest charting release ever on the pop charts, peaking in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

“The urge to write again came from the joy of being back on the road, performing in front of live audiences,” explains Boney. “I had shut down creatively when the pandemic hit. It was the disruptive and disorienting detour we all took when the world locked down, and that’s reflected in the more experimental directions some of the new music takes. The thing about a detour, you may take a different route, but you still get to your destination.”

Like Solid, Detour provides a welcome respite from an increasingly foreboding world filled with political strife. It’s a trip through James’ distinctive contemporary jazz/R&B landscapes, layered in quicksilver watercolor images and cinematic set pieces. Detour represents the next extension of Boney James’ trademark blend of genres which includes blues, soul, roots, classical, art-pop and hip-hop.

“There are some people who think I’m a legend,” laughs Boney about his status as one of the best-kept secrets in music. “And others who have never heard of me. It’s kind of a nice place to live and play in. I do sense a great deal of positive energy towards the music I’ve been making recently and for that, I’m tremendously grateful.”

Nicknamed by bandmates while on tour in Oslo, Norway, after jokingly threatening to starve himself on a threadbare per diem, Boney or Bones or Boneman (though his wife calls him Jimmy) has put in his proverbial 10,000 hours as a musician, performer, writer and producer. At age 10, the New Rochelle, NY native picked up the sax after 2 years on the clarinet and never looked back, parlaying his love of R&B –Motown, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Curtis Mayfield and Grover Washington, Jr. — into a musical aesthetic. He turned pro before his 20th birthday and became an in-demand touring sax and keyboard player for Morris Day, the Isley Brothers, Teena Marie, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford and many others.

Increasingly frustrated by playing other people’s music, Boney launched his own solo career with 1992’s Trust on the indie Spindletop Records. His subsequent 17 studio albums – including a pair of Christmas records – have been released by Warner Bros., Verve and Concord, with 1995’s Seduction, 1997’s Sweet Thing and 1999’s Body Language all RIAA certified gold. In 2015, Boney’s futuresoul spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and was the best-selling Contemporary Jazz Record of 2015.

During his 30-year career, Boney has earned four Grammy nominations (“I’m not gonna lie… I’d still love a statue,” he says), two NAACP Image Award nominations and a Soul Train Award, while a dozen of his albums have landed at #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album chart.  His collaborators in the past include a who’s who of R&B and soul: Raheem DeVaughn, Faith Evans, George Benson, George Duke, Dwele, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey, Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim, Eric Benét, Dave Hollister, Stokley Williams, Kenny Lattimore and Angie Stone.

For the inimitable Boney James, life begins at 60. The cat in the hat is back and better than ever, enjoying life with his wife of 37 years, actress/director Lily Mariye.

“What drives me is my love of making music and my desire for people to hear what I’ve made,” he says. “I still love the communal aspect of playing live. There’s nothing else like it.”

Presented by Count Basie Center for the Arts


Please note: At the direction of the CDC or local health authorities, the Count Basie Center may at any time institute policies pertaining to COVID-19 transmission, including but not limited to mask requirements. Certain artists and / or touring productions may also require patrons to be masked and / or present proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Masks are not required to attend performances at Count Basie Center venues, though we welcome their use and respect all patrons who choose to continue doing so.

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