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Singer and songwriter José James performs his original holiday composition “Christmas in New York” during his November 27, 2021 performance at the SFJAZZ Center, broadcast on Fridays Live on December 24, 2021.
Jose James vocals
Christian Sands piano, keyboards
Ben Williams bass
Jharis Yokley drums
Have yourself a soulful little Christmas with smooth-as-silk crooner José James, the crown prince of new-jack jazz. An R&B-steeped singer who’s as effective evoking Billie Holiday as Bill Withers, José James returns with his first holiday project that imbues classic songs of the season with the warmth of a roaring fireplace in winter, captured on his new album Merry Christmas From José James.
Working in collaboration with master bassist and arranger Ben Williams and surrounded by an array of brilliant players including James Farm pianist Aaron Parks, James opted for the immediacy of sharing the same space with his collaborators like a 1950s jazz session — together in a single room without isolation. He brings all that heat and light to an evening of songs inextricably linked to the holidays.