Thu 19th Jul



Brownswood Recordings showcaes New York Soul and Jazz singer Jose James with Gilles Peterson returning to Cargo behind the wheels with trusty partner in crime Karen P. With very special guests on the night, this should be one not to miss.
Born + raised in Minneapolis, MN, José James was drawn to music + creative writing at an early age. The artists Digable Planets, the Pharcyde, Ice Cube + Bel Biv Devoe were all early inspirations. At the age of 14 he discovered jazz via radio + a new musical inspiration was born. He began studying the work of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker + Duke Ellington – soon continuing on to Nat King Cole, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Jon Hendricks + most significantly John Coltrane + Billie Holiday – both of whom became his musical parents + remain so. He also began singing in high school – mainly doo-wop + Vivaldi with the school choir + performed the leading role of Prince Charming in the musical production of Rodger's + Hammerstein's "Cinderella."

At the age of 17 he met the artist that was to change his life forever – poet + writer Louis Alemayehu. Louis invited José to join his poetry + jazz ensemble "Ancestor Energy" co-led by AACM pianist + composer Carei Thomas + featuring artists such as Douglas Ewart, Jeff Bailey, Donald Washington + Dean Brewington. Soon after José began leading his own jazz ensembles locally + writing lyrics to the Coltrane compositions "Naima," "Equinox," + "Central Park West" as well as composing his own work. Notable performance venues included The Artist's Quarter, First Avenue, The Walker Art Center, The Weisman Art Museum, The Penumbra Theater + Patrick's Cabaret. In 1999 José moved to Brooklyn, New York where he became quickly disillusioned by the jazz scene + stopped performing altogether. However he continued to compose music + to write lyrics to solos by John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon + Miles Davis. He also began creating visual art + rediscovering his long-form creative writing.

In 2003 José moved back to Minneapolis + began performing with spoken word artist Kirk Washington aka "Bro Sun" + with former high school music director + pianist Dennis Malmberg. He also began collaborating with actor + vocalist T. Mychael Rambo, most notably in "The Heart of the Man," a large-scale musical production at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. In 2004 José applied to + was invited to compete in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition held at the Smithsonian's Baird Auditorium in Washington, D.C., placing as a semi-finalist. Following this competition José moved back to New York City to attend The New School for Jazz + Contemporary Music Vocal Jazz program. There he soon met + began collaborating with many musicians including the present members of his quartet, notably: pianist Nori Ochiai – bassist Alexi David – trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim – drummers Luke Damrosch + Dan Kleffman – guitarist Gal Ben Haim + composer, vocalist + lyricist Ryan Blum-Kryzstal.

In 2006 José recorded his EP "The Dreamer" with his first New York ensemble – including the compositions "Deep Blue," "Equinox," "Central Park West," "Alexi's Blues," + the title track "The Dreamer." The musicians included Nori Ochiai – piano, Alexi David – bass, Omar Abdulkarim – trumpet + Luke Damrosch – drums.

José applied to + was invited to compete in the London International Vocal Competition held at the Vortex Jazz Club, again placing as a semi-finalist. A copy of his EP reached the ears of legendary DJ + producer Gilles Peterson, who offered to sign José to his new Browswood label. José accepted + began work to complete the album (due out on Brownswood), writing + recording in New York City. New collaborators included saxophonist Michael Campagna, the legendary jazz + blues pianist Junior Mance + drummer Steve Lyman. Out of these sessions came the finished album + the José James Quartet: José James – voice, Nori Ochiai – piano, Alexi David – bass + Steve Lyman – drums.

Please note : Cargo only sells advance tickets over the internet.

Tickets available by following the link at the bottom of the page. Hard tickets are available from

Cargo is an over 18's Venue

£10 adv