For Immediate Release

Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, 

Celebrity Series of Boston
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Lizz Wright and Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers

Friday, January 25, 2019, 8pm — Berklee Performance Center 

Lizz Wright high-res photo | José James high-res photo
Lizz Wright video preview | Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers video preview
Celebrity Series Press Room

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present double bill Lizz Wright and Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers on Friday, January 25, 2019, at 8pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 

136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. The Jazz Series is sponsored by Donna and Michael Egan.

Tickets start at $45 and are available online at, by calling (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Berklee Performance Center Box Office.

This concert marks the second Celebrity Series performance for Lizz Wright; she made her debut in 2016 with Jazz 100. This will be the Celebrity Series debut for José James. 

Celebrating the eightieth birth year of the legendary R&B singer-songwriter, José James presents Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers, an exploration of the deep musical catalogue that touched millions of hearts and united communities worldwide.

Lizz Wright has garnered widespread attention as one of the most respected jazz and popular singers of her generation through the release of five critically acclaimed albums. Through an inimitable voice that The New York Times touts as, “a smooth, dark alto possessed of qualities you might associate with barrel-aged bourbon or butter-soft leather,” Wright sings with a soaring reflection of the cultural fabric of America. Originally from Hahira, Georgia, her father served as the pianist and musical director at the local church. He encouraged Wright to absorb the soulful dispositions of classic hymns. In 2000, Wright joined the vocal quartet In the Spirit, which was quickly hailed as the best jazz group in her hometown. In 2003, she released her debut solo album, and has released five albums in total over her career.  

Often referred to as a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, New York City-based vocalist José James combines jazz, soul, drum'n'bass, and spoken word into his own unique brand of vocal jazz. James released his full-length debut album, Dreamer, in 2008 on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint. The album earned him accolades worldwide for its blend of jazz, electronic, soul, and pop styles. It placed at number 21 in Jazz Times’ Top 50 for the year. Consequently, James played on prestigious stages all over the world, including those at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Victoria Jazz Festival, Billboard Live Tokyo, Centro Cultural São Paolo, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Central Park Summerstage in New York, and London’s Royal Festival Hall. 

Program to be announced from the stage.

About Celebrity Series of Boston  

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 80-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Marian Anderson, Emanuel Ax, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Béla Bartók, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kirsten Flagstad, Renée Fleming, Dizzy Gillespie, Glenn Gould, Martha Graham, Herbie Hancock, Vladimir Horowitz, Diana Krall, Fritz Kreisler, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Ignace Paderewski, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Leontyne Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubenstein, Andrés Segovia, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, and many more.

Now presenting orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, contemporary dance, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience – on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods – everywhere.

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2018-19 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfil our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Institutional supporters include the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Garbis and Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., Foley & Lardner LLP, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, The Peabody Foundation, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, and many others.