Soul of the holidays

Jazz crooner José James’ music is steeped in R&B. A master of reinvention, James has covered a lot of terrain, from traditional jazz standards to atmospheric soul. He’s known for his smoky baritone, which is featured on a vast discography of eclectic albums. For his new album, Merry Christmas from José James, the singer puts his mark on holiday favorites, including “Let It Snow” and “White Christmas.” Working in collaboration with master bassist and arranger Ben Williams and surrounded by an array of seasoned musicians, such as pianist Aaron Parks, he brings a smooth sound and tight instrumentation to the holiday music. Merry Christmas from José James, an evening of music and song presented by the New Mexico Jazz Festival, takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25-$49 and available at or at the Lensic box office. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are required. Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St., 505-988-1234, 

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