by JJJr on June 11th, 2015

I've been absent, children.  But it's all for good reason.  We've really been busy over here.  It's hard work, but we're trying... 

GOOD NEWS!!!
It's time for THE BLACK-UPS VARIETY HOUR...& 1/2!!!!!

The one and only DROM (birthplace of my very first show) has offered us a monthly slot at their fabulous East Village venue.  There aren't too many folks like us who get an opportunity like this, so we jumped at it and we're having a blast.  Each month we're bringing you a different guest to mix into our madness.  We want to bring back the spirit of the 70s Variety Show mixed with a bit of today, a dash of wit, several ounces of soul, and plenty of tearing apart of Beyonce [...is he still a "thing"].  Our first show was just last week and it was a huge success.  Don't miss the next one....  Sunday, July 26th at 9PM!!!

....with special guests 2Scoops!!!  The Legendary, recently reunited, entirely fictional 90's R&B Girl Group.

(If you aren't following these ladies on Twitter, you're missing out)


Here's the official press release about THE BLACK-UPS VARIETY HOUR...& 1/2.... 

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The Black-Ups: Variety Hour ...& 1/2 is set for Friday, 6/5/15 at 8PM (doors at 7PM) and Sunday, 7/26/15 at 9PM at DROM, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009.

Downtown lounge and concert venue DROM welcomes soul-singing duo and performance artists The Black-Ups to the East Village in a new monthly musical extravaganza. Neighborhood soul man extraordinaire, James Jackson, Jr. teams with long-time friend and hair-changing Diva-About-Town, LaDonna Burns (Rent Nat'l Tour, Seussical Nat'l Tour) as America's favorite bawdy, and bad-ass lead singer-less back-up duo, The Black-Ups.

Bringing the hits from the 1970s into today in the spirit of The Richard Pryor Show and The Flip Wilson Show, "The Black-Ups: Variety Hour...& 1/2" asks "What would happen if Sonny & Cher had...a little more soul?" Each month a very special guest will be a part of a comedy and music party that only The Black-Ups could throw.

With the sexiest soul band in town, lead by the multi-talented, ever-charming Elliot Roth, "The Black-Ups: Variety Hour...& a half" takes your soul on a much-needed & long overdue journey.

Phone: (646) 791-4244, Tickets: $15 (advance), $18 (door). For more info, go to www.dromnyc.com.

by JJJr on January 19th, 2015

I have been coming to The American Repertory Theater's Club Oberon for the last 2 years to do my show, and I absolutely love everything about it.  It's my favorite time of year and my favorite space to perform in Cambridge.  And it ends up being such a huge family reunion.

Well, this time I've been asked to come back again, and I'm bringing my very dear friend LaDonna Burns.  We'll be doing a bit of our act "The Black-Ups", that we've been performing around New York City for a bit.  I cannot WAIT for my Boston family to meet her.

If you're in town Valentine's Weekend, check out Club Oberon and The Black-Ups.
GET TICKETS HERE!!!!
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The American Repertory Theater's OBERON welcomes back Performance Artist, interpreter of tight-jeans, and neighborhood soul man, James Jackson, Jr. as he teams with long-time friend and hair-changing Diva-About-Town, LaDonna Burns (Rent Nat’l Tour, Seussical Nat’l Tour) as America’s favorite lead singer-less back-up duo, “The Black-Ups”, for their first ever Boston engagement.

What happens when the only two members of America’s newest soul-sensation, “Becky & The Whiteboys”, to show up at their Massachusetts debut are the black-up singers? Can these two over-worked and under-used talents find a band in time? More importantly, who’s going to sing lead? “Becky & The Whiteboys” are not only the band these two sing behind. They also represent the things The Black-Ups have been stumbling over for years while searching for a reason to step out from behind that up-stage-left microphone and into the spotlight.

With the sexiest soul band in town, lead by the multi-talented, ever-charming Elliot Roth, James and LaDonna are taking a trip, meeting center stage, basking in the spotlight, and ready to blow the roof off the place.
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This is me and LaDonna paying a little tribute to our spirit animal/mother Ms. Patti Labelle...

by JJJr on January 19th, 2015

Here's what's being said (Like I didn't write it my damn self)....
I'm so happy we're coming back to Joe's Pub.  It's one of my favorite venues in Manhattan.  We hope you can make it out to support this new show we've written. It's some pretty funny stuff.

The show is Sunday, 2/8 at 9:30PM.
GET TICKETS HERE!!!!


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Performance Artist, interpreter of tight-jeans, and neighborhood soul man, James Jackson, Jr. teams with long-time friend and hair-changing Diva-About-Town, LaDonna Burns (Rent Nat’l Tour, Seussical Nat’l Tour) as America’s favorite lead singer-less back-up duo, “The Black-Ups”, in a musical, historical, and sass-filled romp through the shortest and Blackest month of the year.

After stepping out from behind soul music sensation “Becky & The Whiteboys”, “The Black-Ups” have embarked on their own musical journey, and released the sure-fire hit album “Baby, You Can Shuck While I Jive”.  Check out their first concert as they break out on their own and tell some of the history that “Got Us In This Mess To Begin With”.

With the sexiest soul band in town, led by the multi-talented, ever-charming Elliot Roth, The Black-Ups: “Black History” takes your soul on a much-needed & long overdue journey.

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Here's a snippet of something that happened last time we were at Joe's...
 

by JJJr on June 11th, 2014

What is your definition of Joy?  For me, joy comes out of anything you've created with the support of an actual friend.  From a cocktail to a good meal.  From a  laugh to a strong hug.  I cannot wait to share with everyone what LaDonna Burns and I have been working on.  I guess you could say it's taken over a decade to create, because that's how long this union has been going on, so why not celebrate on one of our favorite stages in New York City.  Look out, Joe's Pub... The Black-Ups are coming!!!

Here's some info from the official Press Release:

James Jackson, Jr. & LaDonna Burns
“The Black-Ups”

 
Sunday, August 10th, 2014 @ 7PM
@ Joe’s Pub
www.JoesPub.Publictheater.org
Tix: $14
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PRESS RELEASE: 
Performance Artist and lover of tight jeans, James Jackson, Jr. has teamed with long time friend and hair-changing Diva-About-Town, LaDonna Burns (Rent Nat’l Tour, Seussical Nat’l Tour) for a show they’ve written based on the early years of their friendship and careers singing behind several New York City acts. 
 
What happens when the only two members of America’s newest soul-sensation, “Becky & The Whiteboys”, to show up at their New York City debut are the black-up singers?  Can these two over-worked and under-used talents find a band in time?  More importantly, who’s going to sing lead?  “Becky & The Whiteboys” are not only the band these two sing behind.  They also represent the things The Black-Ups have been stumbling over for years while searching for a reason to step out from behind that up-stage-left microphone and into the spotlight.   
 
With the sexiest soul band in town, lead by the multi-talented, ever-charming, birthday boy Elliot Roth, James and LaDonna are taking a trip, meeting center stage, basking in the spotlight, and ready to blow the roof off the place.
 
Tickets: http://joespub.publictheater.org/reserve/index.aspx?performanceNumber=25272
Sunday, Aug. 10th @ 7PM (doors open at 6:00PM)
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 BIO
James Jackson, Jr. Lover of tight jeans, too much jewelry, and good soul searching music, the diamond-hearted, sharp-witted, Boston native Mr. Jackson was undergraduately reared by lesbians in the New England Berkshires after artistically growing up on the south shore of Massachusetts under the soul-food tutelage of a deep southern family. The shoes; Birkenstocks.  The music; Indigo, Simone, Franklin & Difranco.  The relationships; many, lost, and strong.
 
Deposited in New York City over a decade ago & the real work began.  Dance belts, regional stage yelts, never fitting in with the in-crowd, a team of demanding Brits, and even a rather unfortunate stop in Branson, Missouri all lead to his discovery of artistic truth on prestigious stages like Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall.  His highly emotional, devastatingly funny cabaret act has been seen at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Duane Park, DROM, The A.R.T.’s Club Oberon, and Los Angeles’ Lyric Theatre.  James’ razor-sharp wit, unique sense of humor, talent, and on & off stage persona have become an artistic force to be reckoned with as well as a voice people want to hear as he changes the face of the concert stage.
 
LaDonna Burns is originally from Indianapolis.  Her National Tour credits include Rent (“Seasons of Love” Soloist/Joanne understudy), and Seussical the Musical (Sour Kangaroo). LaDonna has appeared as Teen Angel/Miss Lynch in Grease at the International Music Festival in Macau, China.  She was last seen in NYC playing Momma in Supersoldier by Jim Rado.  Regional credits include All Shook Up (Sylvia), Smokey Joes Café (BJ), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Armelia), Beehive (Diane Ross/Aretha Franklin/Patti LaBelle/Ikette), Crowns (Jeanette) and Satchmo:  The Life and Times of Louis Armstrong (Ella Fitzgerald/Bessie Smith).  LaDonna can be heard singing at Brandy’s Piano Bar and spreading the joys of singing Pop/Rock music at The New York Film Academy.


 

by JJJr on March 10th, 2014

I'm so excited!  You have no idea where we're going next.  I'm excited to bring this very special show to The Cutting Room, one of my favorite venues in NYC.  And since I'm really into using the word "Excited" this week, I'm most excited to announce that my special guest, and fellow Joni-lover, Bridget Barkan, will be stopping by for a song or two.  Get on down to The Cutting Room next week.  Bring your hoe, and let's go "Black To The Garden"!!!

Oh, here's some info from the press release (which I wrote myself, cuz you know how I [like to] do EVERYTHING myself, right?)

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James Jackson, Jr. - “Black To The Garden”
 
Friday, March 21st
@ The Cutting Room
www.TheCuttingRoomNYC.com
Tix: $15 in advance / $20 @ the door
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PRESS RELEASE: 
Performance Artist, James Jackson, Jr. sings an ode to the music that made him who he is.  “James has that little something extra!”  Call him what you want.  Just don’t call him “Fabulous”.  This acclaimed vocalist and story-teller comes to The Cutting Room and sings the tale of what built the stage persona who has performed in some of the coolest venues in New York City and beyond.  It’s not your ordinary night of soul, but then again, it never was.  James invites you to “Come have a meeting on the bridge he’s built between the soul, the folk, the rhythm, and the blues.”  I’ll bet you didn’t even know he owned a pair of Birkenstocks.  In his new inter-active solo show, the reigning (and self-proclaimed) High Brown Priestess of Story Telling takes a walk down Memory Lane to musically show you why the darker side of Broadway just wasn’t for him, and why the soaring soprano of Joni Mitchell always made him want to smoke more and fall in love with white boys less. 
 
With a soul-tastic band lead by the multi-talented, and ever charming Elliot Roth, James has a night of musical truth-telling planned that will definitely bring you all the way Black To The Garden.  Sometimes you have to give everything to get back to yourself.
 
Advance tickets: http://tickets.thecuttingroomnyc.com/event/516595-james-jackson-jr-new-york/
Friday, 3/21 @8PM (doors open at 6:30PM)
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by JJJr on January 14th, 2014

2014 is looking cute already.  I can't wait to come back to by hometown and check in on everyone.  The American Reperatory Theatre in Cambridge has asked us back to their gorgeous Club Oberon on Sunday, February 16th at 8PM.  Me and the boys are so excited to show you what we've been up to since we saw you last year.  I wonder who's going to be crowned Homecoming King and Queen....

See you next month!!!!

Here's the press release for the show.... Read on.....
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James Jackson, Jr. - “Grown Folks Reunion”
 
Sunday, February 16 - 8PM @ Club Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA  02138
www.ClubOberon.com - TIX $20
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PRESS RELEASE:
Performance artist James Jackson, Jr. is returning to his hometown for a one night only performance at The American Repertory Theatre’s Club Oberon in Cambridge, MA on Sunday evening, February 16th at 8PM.  A year has passed since James’ last packed stop on Oberon’s stage.
 
Homecoming never felt so good!!  Who knew so much could happen in a year?  Come hear the tales of an ill-fated, underpaid trip to Los Angeles where “singing for your supper” didn’t actually include a meal.  Or of wondering why he doesn’t fit in while following around the New York City cabaret and performance artist “cool kids”.  Has he worn out his welcome like a new pair of tight jeans?  Like any good lady-detective, he’s traced his steps back to where it all began.  James has been gone from Massachusetts for almost 12 years.  It’s time to fill you in on what he’s been up to, and some of the lessons he’s learned.  And to sing a few songs too.  He’ll laugh.  He’ll cry.  …He’ll throw some shade.
 
With a soul-tastic band lead by the multi-talented, and ever-charming Elliot Roth, James is planning  a night of true debauchery and story telling like any good Homecoming should have.
 
Tickets are $20 and are available at www.ClubOberon.com
Sunday, 2/16 @ 8PM
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by JJJr on October 23rd, 2013

What if I just threw a huge party in November and invited the best mix of people on stage a boy could ask for?  Would you come?  I'm back from my successfully ill-advertised Los Angeles birthday romp.  I've missed you all.  I can't wait to get this whole gang together, sing a few songs, tell a few stories, and talk as much sh*t as we can....without hurting anybody's feelings.

Look...It's Tuesday, November 12th.  At Drom... one of my favorite scenes of the crime.  The doors open at 7.  The show's off and running around 8.  Come on by.  Consider it a late birthday present!!  Wanna get tickets?  
CLICK HERE!!!- It's only $15!!!!

Here...check out this press release to hear who's coming.

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 “It’s My Party!” - James Jackson, Jr.
 
…with special guests
 
Amber Martin, Bridget Barkan, Molly Pope, Angela Di Carlo, Margoh Channing, Wendy Fox, Darius Harper, and Jaime Cepero
 
Tuesday, November 12th 8PM @ DROM
85 Avenue A (btw 5th & 6th Streets)
www.DromNYC.com - TIX: (212) 777-1157 $15 (adv), $20 @ the door
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PRESS RELEASE:

Performance artist James Jackson, Jr. is hosting a party at DROM in the East Village with some of his favorites.  Instead of just stalking them all for years, what would happen if you actually invited them all to share the stage with you?  Well, James is about to find out!  When asked why, James simply said “It’s my party…and I’ll show these thighs if I want to!”  Some of the hottest, most loved, and sassy cabaret artists, musicians, and Broadway talents that New York City has to offer will be sharing the stage with Mr. Jackson in an all-star night of debauchery, good old-fashioned soul searching, and story-telling.
 
The roster of guests includes Amber Martin (New Yorker-named one of the Best Performers of 2010), Molly Pope (Top Ten Cabaret 2012 – Time Out New York), Bridget Barkan (Scissor Sisters, Dear Stranger), nightlife DIVA Margoh Channing, Angela Di Carlo (The Mad World of Miss Hathaway), Wendy Fox (Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde), Darius Harper (National Tour Book of Mormon), and Jaime Cepero (from Smash).
 
With a band lead by everyone’s favorite handsome piano man extraordinaire Elliot Roth, and a soul music throw down lead with James’ unrivaled sass this party is bound to rock DROM to it’s core.  Did we mention Joe Ardizzone, Shaleah Adkisson, and Ladonna Burns are singing backup?  Come on!!
 
Tickets are $15 in advance (www.DromNYC.com) or $20 @ the door.
Call Drom at (212) 777-1157.
Tuesday, 11/12 @ 8PM (doors open at 7PM)

by JJJr on October 4th, 2013

As much as I love New York City in the fall, I thought I needed to spend some time out west with some very dear friends of mine that I don't get to see often enough.  So, I'm heading to Los Angeles for two things...

1.  My birthday (contact me for a list of jewelry sizes and other things on my wish-list)

and

2.  To do a little mini-show at The Lyric Theatre.

I whipping up a few ditties, stories, and jokes that I'm working on for my November 12th party at DROM (*Stay Tuned!!!) and thought I'd better try some of them out on the West Coast first.

If you're in Los Angeles, come check out the show on Saturday, October 12th at 8PM.  The doors open at 7, so I'll be at the bar by 7:02.  It's only $10.  Come see what I'm working on, or just stop by and scream "Birth!!!!" 

Kisses...

JJJr

by JJJr on September 16th, 2013

Y'all....It's the Last "Last Tuesday" at Duane Park!!!  It would be rude of you not to come.  Plus, the list of people I already have on that "rude" list is well.... I don't wanna get into that.

Amber Martin is hilarious.  And sexy.  And talented. And she makes me laugh.  And I stalk her.  And I can't believe we get to even be in the same room together, let alone share the stage.  

Duane Park is....well....Duane Park.  She's gorgeous too.  The food is great.  It's a Tuesday night.  It's 9/24 at 8PM.  Make a reservation for dinner.  Or come and sit at the bar.  (212) 732-5555 ... But you don't wanna miss this.  I'd say check out Duane Park's website for more info....But updating that seems to be like waiting for Christmas.  So, I'll get the word out myself!!!  (re:  If you scratch my back, I'll scr...wait...never mind....You'd never scratch my back​) 

This is our LAST "Last Tuesday".  If you've missed it all summer, you've missed out.  We're going out with a bang....(and not much for clothing!!!!)

Here's the press release for the show.....
Bring y'assssss!!!!

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PRESS RELEASE:
 
“James Jackson, Jr.’s ‘Last Tuesday’ Gets All Wet w/ AMBER MARTIN @ Duane Park”
 
 
 James Jackson, Jr. is back at the East Village burlesque mainstay, Duane Park, at 308 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston Streets (home of the former Bowery Poetry Club) hosting the monthly event “Last Tuesday…” Boasting some of the hottest cabaret artists, musicians, and live performances New York City has to offer, each showcased and sharing the stage with the sassy Mr. Jackson as host for the evening.
 
This month’s guest is celebrated vocalist, dancer, and comedic monologist, Amber Martin. The New Yorker dubbed her “a powerful woman whose heightened sense of the ridiculous goes head to head with her distinctly American voice”.  Amber currently lives, writes and performs in NYC.
In Portland, Oregon she established a new-genre musical performance group, House of Cunt, which swept through Portland’s avant-garde theater arts scene (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art) and eventually established her as an award-winning solo artist in her own right (2003 Portland Drammy Award for Best Solo Artist).
As a solo artist, Amber has created a small world of original characters, through which she shows her broad vocal range as well as her vast knowledge of music and pop culture history. If you missed her recent tribute to Laura Nyro at 54 Below…you missed out. Writing, curating and starring in her own shows Martin has been lauded by The New York Times as “pitch-perfect and multi-talented, seamlessly float(ing) between multiple costumes, personae and skits, never once leaving the stage, and carrying the calm of a seasoned performer”.
Amber has recently performed onstage with such artists as Joan Rivers, Sandra Bernhard, Karen Black, Joyce Dewitt, Justin Bond, and The Scissor Sisters, appearing as a featured vocalist on the second single off their album Magic Hour (Polydor). She was also featured in Jonathan Caouette’s new film “Walk Away Renee” and appeared on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice for the second season in a row.
 
With a band lead by handsome piano man extraordinaire Elliot Roth, and a story lead with James’ unrivaled sass this team has cooked up a brew that is bound to bring Duane Park to it’s knees once again.
 
Show is complimentary with your reservation for dinner and drinks!!!
RSVP for a table at (212) 732-5555 or via email at duanepark@earthlink.net.  Bar seating is also available.  Tuesday, 9/24 @ 8PM


by JJJr on August 30th, 2013

Hey y'all...  I'm thrilled to be singing in this amazing benefit.  It is the brainchild of my dear friends, George and Michelle Kippenhan and Steve Shannon.  (Read this great article about George and Michelle's wonderful family....and especially, their gorgeous daughter, Mary)

It's also reuniting some of the most wonderfully talented people I've ever worked with.  Friends I haven't been on stage with in close to 15 years.  It's truly going to be a blast.  Get your tickets now.  I have a feeling it's going to sell out.

Here's the Facebook invite:  https://www.facebook.com/events/520548824684663/

And here's a link to the Company Theatre's website:  http://www.companytheatre.com/

You can also call (781) 871-ARTS for tickets!!  just $20


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