oney James, (born James Oppenheim, September 1, 1961 in Lowell, Massachusetts) is a saxophonist, songwriter and producer. He is one of the most successful instrumental artists of our time, with sales totaling over 3 million records. In 2009 Billboard Magazine named James the #3 BillboardContemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade. (Trailing just Kenny G and Norah Jones.)
Boney James is a three-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Pop Instrumental Album, 2001 and 2004, and Best Traditional R&B Performance, 2009 ) and a Soul Train Award winner (Best Jazz Album). He has also been honored with an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Jazz Album. He has accumulated four RIAA Certified Gold Records.
James' 14th album The Beat was released April 9, 2013 on Concord Records. Featuring guest artists Raheem DeVaughn and The Floacist, it became his 10th #1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album. In their review of The Beat, The New York Times said: "The relaxed charisma of Mr. James’s tone, especially on alto and tenor, is one reason his approach works... Another reason is his sturdy sense of phrase. Like Grover Washington Jr., a pioneer in this field, he sounds at ease but alert, and he’s capable of striking an imploring tone without an overdose of saccharine."
James is also renowned for his compelling live performances. According to the Boston Globe: "Let's make something perfectly clear: James is not a smooth jazz player. Yeah, he is often grouped with people like Kenny G and Najee, but his music is muscular and gritty, whereas most smooth jazz has all the texture and complexity of a cue ball.... James swaggered across the stage like a blacktop hero draining treys on an overmatched opponent. He even weaved his way through the audience, never missing a beat and all but daring the crowd not to have a good time."[