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Jazz vocalists are fortunate to have an embarrassment of riches to draw from in the storehouse of American popular song. Singer James Earl Junior will wrap his warm baritone around “The American Songbook- From Broadway to Basie” as part of the White Horse Black Mountain’s continuing Cabaret Jazz Series on Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.
James Junior is a Milwaukee native, a veteran of the New York jazz scene, and now a self-described “Asheville Jazzvillian”. He traces his musical epiphany to hearing Miles Davis’ Porgy and Bess album. While he loves a wide variety of musical styles, he “always comes back to Miles, Monk, Duke, Billy Strayhorn, Coltrane and Billy Holiday”.
Since coming to WNC, James Junior has performed well-reviewed shows at numerous venues and hosts two jazz radio shows. For his White Horse appearance Junior has enlisted the talents of special guests Pam Jones on vocals, Nathan Hefner on piano, Zack Page on bass and Rick Dilling on drums.
James Earl Junior’s jazz baritone has earned comparisons to great singers of the ’40s and ’50s such as Johnny Hartman, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Bob Eberly and Dick Haymes. Asheville singer/drummer Russ Wilson sums it up saying that Junior “sings to his audience like he’s singing to you and you only.”
Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15