José James headlines Eco-Soul concert

Jose James.
Photo by Nathan Gallagher

Weeksville Heritage Center, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African-American community of Weeksville, presents critically acclaimed vocalist José James for its annual “Eco-Soul” concert on Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m. (Gates open at 2 p.m.).

The concert is free and takes place outdoors in one of NYC’s most unique venues – The Weeksville Garden (1698 Bergen Street between Buffalo Avenue and Rochester Avenue, Brooklyn). Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.

The Brooklyn-based, half-Irish and half-Panamanian singer has been described as a soulful cross between Johnny Hartman, Gil Scott Heron and Terry Callier.

Opening for James will be Amy LaCour and Saunders Sermons. The event is part of Weeksville’s “Eco-Soul” concert celebrating jazz in Brooklyn in conjunction with the 12th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival.

It will kick off months of spring and summer activities including a farmers market featuring fresh organic, locally-farmed produce at affordable prices, a Garden Party summer concert series and a Family Day festival.

Since his explosive arrival on the international scene, vocalist James has consistently dazzled critics and audiences alike with his smooth combination of soul, hip-hop and jazz. His 2008 debut album “The Dreamer” from Producer/DJ Gilles Petersons’ Brownswood Recordings label was voted one of the top jazz albums of 2008 by Jazz Times, with James performing at venues such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Billboard Live Tokyo, and Central Park SummerStage. His sophomore release “BLACKMAGIC” (Feb 2010, Brownswood) explored the worldwide underground, featuring production from Flying Lotus, Moodymann, Taylor McFerrin and DJ Mitsu the Beats.

Winner of both the Edison Award and L’Académie du Jazz Grand Prix for best Vocal Jazz Album of 2010, “For All We Know” was James’ most intimate project to date, with performances in premiere concert halls such as L’Olympia, Royal Festival Hall, and De Roma, as well venues such as the Umbria Jazz Festival, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and Cotton Club Tokyo. For more information about José James, visit www.josejamesmusic.com.

Directions to Weeksville:

Subway: A, C Train to Utica Avenue (Walk four short blocks south on Utica Avenue to Bergen Street Turn left onto Bergen Street. / 3 or 4 Train to Utica Avenue (Walk north on Utica Avenue for eight blocks to Bergen Street Turn right onto Bergen Street)

Bus: B65, B15 to Bergen Street (near Buffalo Avenue) / B46 Local to Bergen Street (at Utica Avenue)

Weeksville Heritage Center / 1698 Bergen Street / Brooklyn / NY / 11213 / www.weeksvillesociety.org

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