James Brandon Lewis

Saxophonist & Composer - Wherever you are I hope Music Finds you

“James Brandon Lewis, a jazz saxophonist in his 30s, raw-toned but measured, doesn’t sound steeped in current jazz-academy values and isn’t really coming from a free-improvising perspective. There’s an independence about him, and on “Days of FreeMan” (Okeh), he makes it sound natural to play roaming, experimental funk, with only the electric bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma and the drummer Rudy Royston, and without much sonic enhancement. The record sounds a little reminiscent of what James Blood Ulmer and Ornette Coleman were doing in the late ’70s and early ’80s — on records that included Mr. Tacuma — but it’s not clearly evoking a particular past. Maybe it’s an improvised take on early ’90s hip-hop, as Mr. Lewis has suggested, but it sounds less clinical than that. It sounds like three melodic improvisers going for it.”
— The New York Times

Acclaimed Saxophonist & Composer James Brandon Lewis has been described as a Visionary Composer and Tenor saxophonist “ A jazz saxophonist in his 30s, raw-toned but measured, doesn’t sound steeped in current jazz-academy values and isn’t really coming from a free-improvising perspective. There’s an independence about him." – New York Times

Lewis has received accolades from the New York Times, NPR and Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the “ 7 Young players to Watch in today’s scene”. Lewis has been endorsed by Jazz legend Saxophonist Sonny Rollins  “ Promising young player with the potential to do great things having listened to the Elders”. – Jazz Magazine (France).  Lewis at the request of Rollins participated in a tribute concert honoring the Jazz Legend sharing the stage with Jimmy Heath, Ravi Coltrane, James Carter and many others.

 

Born In Buffalo, NY James Brandon Lewis began his pursuit of music at the age of 9 and would begin his music studies at the Buffalo Academy for the Visual And Performing Arts exposing him to Jazz Legends such as Dave Brubeck, Doc Severinsen , Local Legends Carol Mclaughlin , and Charlie Parker Alum the great pianist Al Tinney . James Brandon lewis holds a Bachelors Degree from Howard University and a MFA from California Institute of the Arts .

 

To date James Brandon Lewis has released 4 albums as a leader, 3 of which are critically acclaimed. He has toured extensively world wide with his own ensembles, as well as shared the stage, and recorded with amazing musicians such as William Parker, Hamid Drake, Cooper Moore, Jamaaladeen Tacuma , Rudy Royston , Joe Lovano , Gerald Cleaver ,  Charles Gayle, Dave Douglas , Richard Davis , Weather report Alum Alphonso Johnson , and many others . Lewis is also the Co-Founder of Heroes Are Gang Leaders a collective of musicians and poets that keep a foot in the past,present, and future.

 

James is deep in an intrepid artistic continuum that explores identity and spirituality through challenging and awe-inspiring concepts and epiphanic playing that melds formalistic technique, bold exploration, and strains of gospel and blues. James Brandon Lewis presents a rich dialogue with his audience that is both fiery and cerebral.