With the success of her debut release, Morgan James Live – A Celebration of Nina Simone transitioning Epic recording artist, MORGAN JAMES from prominent roles on Broadway to the tour bus, the stage has been set and her audience has been poised for Morgan’s 1st full length studio album, Hunter, which is set to drop June 3, 2014. After having showcased her acumen as a beautiful and sultry Jazz singer on Morgan James Live, Morgan’s next record will no doubt exhibit her extraordinary voice and exquisite gift as an emerging pop star.
Recorded at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Morgan James Live features James’s stirring renditions from the repertoire of Nina Simone. Not only embracing Simone’s raw, heady passion, James channels the sparkling eclecticism that made the High Priestess of Soul a key influence in cultivating her own style.
For James, it took weathering her first few years as a struggling musician in New York City to tune into the sorrow that instills so much of Simone’s work. “Honestly, I didn’t realize I could sing this way until I was lonely, jobless, and listening to a lot of incredibly sad music all the time,” she says.
After joining a choir in junior high, James left her Northern California home at age 18 to study opera at the Juilliard School. While the rigorous conservatory training went a long way in refining her vocals and building her remarkable range, James ultimately abandoned opera and devoted her initial post-Juilliard years to working her way onto the stages of some of New York City’s most legendary theatrical spaces and clubs.
As she continued to advance her artistry and expand her vocal versatility, James eventually found her way to Broadway. Making her debut in The Addams Family, she went on to perform in Wonderland, the first-ever Broadway revival of Godspell and most recently in Motown: The Musical playing Teena Marie.
James is currently working on her first full-length studio effort (an album she envisions as “a more contemporary, pop/R&B record, but with its roots in blues and old-school soul”). James will continue to bring her astonishing vocals beyond the stages of New York City and turn a wider audience on to her enchanting sensibility as a musical interpreter.
“This woman is on fire.”
– Stephen Holden/NY Times
“James puts a spell on you and from the get go with her commanding presence.”
– San Francisco Examiner
“Morgan James has it all: soul, charm, blue-chip musicianship, and the kind of individuality that makes her singing as recognizable as a fingerprint.”
–Terry Teachout/Wall Street Journal.