Panamanian-American vocalist José James has made a career out of blurring the borders of jazz. His music is known for incorporating sounds and style from modern genres like hip-hop and R&B, yet staying true to the spirit of jazz performance at the same time. His album, On Yesterday I Had The Blues (Blue Note), changes direction and returns to the music that inspired him to become a jazz singer in the first place: the music of Billie Holiday. José James sits down with Maria Hinojosa at the Latino USA studios to chat about why Billie Holiday should be a feminist and activist icon, as well as her enduring influence on popular American music.

Featured image courtesy of José James

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