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Get into 'The Beat'

Brittney Palmer | 4/4/2013, 11:48 a.m.

Music is truly timeless, especially when you have a musician that is capable of literally "jazzing up" some of your all-time favorite songs such as "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers or "Sweet Thing" by Chaka Khan.

Chart-topping saxophonist Boney James does just that with his instrumental expertise and sincere love and appreciation for music. And, if you have ever heard a Boney James track or seen him perform live, you are already privy to the magic that he creates.

It is impossible to ignore the spell of Boney James, the Grammy-nominated, instrumental genius and his saxophone, who recently re-signed with his former label Concord Records.

On his new album, "The Beat" set for release on April 9, James connects the dots between his love of both R&B and Latin music. Read on for more insight into his inspiration and how James got started onto his musical path:

WI: What was your first experience with music?

BJ: (laughs) That was a long time ago, but my dad used to work as an entertainment attorney and he worked for Columbia Records for quite a while before he began working on movies so we always had a lot of records around the house even though no one else in our family was musically talented and I remember hearing Charlie Brown records and a lot of musicals and show tunes and then he started bringing Jazz into the house. But I would say it mainly happened (first experience with music) when I was in elementary school and I joined the band, back in the day pretty much, everybody would have to learn how to play something and I ended up on clarinet and a few years later I became the best clarinet player so I switched to the sax (when I was ten years old) and that's when I remember getting more and more into music because I loved playing the saxophone so much.

WI: When did you know that you wanted to pursue music as a career?

BJ: It was probably more of an evolution for me; I know a lot of people knew when they were really young that this (music) was it for them. I've always loved music, I loved to listen to the radio and play the horn and I started to get into R&B music and I became a huge Motown fan and I got into Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and other artist like that and then when I was about twelve or thirteen I started jamming with friends in garage bands and things like that and I got more into being in bands and trying to write my own music and probably when I was about nineteen I really made the decision because I was in college studying history and thinking that I would go to law school someday, then I realized that I really wasn't all that into it, and the one thing that I did love was music, and I felt like I owed it to myself to make a go at making it a career before I did anything else and luckily I didn't have to turn back.

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