Jose James No Beginning No End Photo Book
Jose James No Beginning No End Photo Book

Help Jose James Make His 'No Beginning No End' Photo Book A Reality

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

(photo by Janette Beckman)

Jose James showed a serious commitment to his craft on his 2014 Blue Note LP No Beginning No End, calling up some of the greatest players in modern jazz and R&B to craft a mature, immersive and confident work. And almost as soon as it dropped, the 35-year-old bandleader hit the road playing venues across the road in support. Amidst all the tour ruckus, James kept a diary documenting his new life, chronicling changes he observed in himself as well as missives of gratitude toward the players that helped make it all possible. He reached out to cats like Richard Spaven, Takuya Kuroda, Solomon Dorsey, Kris Bowers, Corey King, and Brian Bender to pen personal essays, and then folded them into his own notes, creating a kind of collective memory book made of up many voices.

Now, with the help of legendary music photographer Janette Beckman, James hopes to transform this diary into a fully-fledged book in the form of No Beginning No End: A Year in Words and Photos. "I want this book to be a true reflection of what we went through to create this music and to bring it to over 40 countries worldwide," James wrote on the book's official Kickstarter, which has been set up in hopes of fully funding the project. "The results are intimate, poignant, sometimes humorous and always real."

With hopes of raising $35,000, James's kickstarter has, at press time, amassed just shy of $5,000 with four days of official fundraising remaining. In words passionate and unguarded, the vocalist and composer goes on to describe his hoped-for final product as "a deeply personal work and one that we've given our all to. Every detail - from the inspired design by Hayden Miller to the meticulously curated images by Janette - has been carefully considered."

"The book itself is a 12"x12" hardcover vinyl size and runs 130 pages. The paper will be heavy archival quality to reflect the deep tones of Janette's black and white photo series. It will truly be a collectors item and we will do a limited first edition printing to reflect that."

And while some may be unfamiliar with Beckman's name, anyone reading this site is surely acquainted with her work. The legendary photographer has shot The Beastie Boys, Debbie Harry, Salt n Pepa, Run DMC and more, all at the peak of their creative powers. Beckman not only shot James's elegant LP cover image, but captured numerous backstage candids and live performance shots over the tour, offering us an artful look into the life of modern jazz.

Funds donated to the online campaign will go toward producing the book on high-quality stock, as well as shipping and processing costs. And should the Hayden Miller-designed book receive full funding, a run of 500 copies will be printed and shipped to fans across the globe (an e-book version will also go on sale).

No Beginning No End: A Year in Words and Photos will be a limited edition book that documents the creation and touring process of that album, as well as an in-depth look at some of the creative minds behind the album. Designed by Hayden Miller, the book will be a premium grade 12x12 vinyl size hardcover edition, with a run of 500 copies worldwide. A digital e-book version will also be available.

"But most importantly, this book is a piece of my heart," James stresses. "It's two years of my life full of triumph, romance, heartbreak, and discovery. I hope that in creating this piece I'm able to share a deeper side of myself, more personal and more real. Thanks for all your support in helping me share this with the world!"

Donate to Jose James's No Beginning No End book project here.