Boney James started playing saxophone at age 10, and he never stopped.
The musician and composer is touring in support of his 16th studio album, titled “Honestly,” and is currently working on songs for his 17th album.
James will play the Grand Strand this weekend, with a tour stop on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. at House of Blues Myrtle Beach.
James spoke with Waccamaw Publishers in advance of his show to talk about his career and his live show.
While his albums have landed him on the contemporary jazz charts, James doesn’t necessarily consider himself to be a jazz artist.
“My music has a lot of different influences,” he said. “I’ve always loved Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, and a lot of R&B artists. When I was 13-14, I discovered Grover Washington, Jr., and I saw how he combined jazz and R&B together. I wanted to do that.”
James studied history in college, but at 19 years old, he realized music is what he loved “more than anything,” he said.
He auditioned for Morris Day’s solo band and was hired as a backup keyboard player, spending seven years touring and playing backup with Day, The Isley Brothers, Teena Marie and more.
James released his debut solo album in 1992 and has been writing and performing as a solo artist for 27 years.
On this current tour, James is backed by an “amazing band” and is bringing a high-energy performance each night, getting the audience involved.
“I’ve always been interested in putting on a show,” he said.
James is currently working on new music and said he’s “hearing music in my head all the time.”
“I love making records. It’s like building a model when you’re a kid, watching the pieces come together,” he said. “I try and respond to the music itself. That’s served me really well over the years.”
James said he is always trying to grow as a musician, practicing 4-6 hours a day.
“It’s a really physical thing,” he said. “I’m always making sure that when I hit that stage, I’m at 100 percent. It takes discipline and hard work.”
The House of Blues is located at 4640 U.S. 17 S. at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit houseofblues.com/myrtlebeach or call 843-272-3000.