If you’re unfamiliar with James Francies, it is surely just a matter of time; he’s on a steady trajectory to becoming a household name.
A native of Houston, Tx., he started playing piano at age five in church. By 14, he had formed his own jazz trio. While a student at the New School, he began playing with Jeff “Tain” Watts. Since then he has shared the stage and recorded with everyone from Pat Metheny to Chance the Rapper. Questlove of The Roots made him an auxiliary member of the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
And of course, Francies’ talent and constant grind caught the attention of Blue Note Records, which released his his debut album, Flight, in 2018.
This Yamaha Salon experience is sure to bring a different energy to Piano Month at WBGO. Francies will be joined by bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Jeremy Dutton, with an audiovisual component by Ben Heim. We'll explore Francies’ gift of synethesia (sound-to-color) and how it plays a role in his compositions; get a taste of some new music on the horizon; and more.
Tune in right here on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET for a WBGO livestream from the Yamaha Salon.