Since his breakthrough album The Dreamer in 2008, American jazz singer José James (1978) has broken a lot of new ground. He recorded an album with Belgian pianist Jeff Neve in just one day (For All We Know) and immersed himself in the music of saxophonist John Coltrane. When James performed at North Sea Jazz last year, he was working on the album No Beginning, No End that was released last January. It is a jazz recording with influences from soul, hip hop and pop, full of calm songs carried by his beautiful, dark voice. Moreover, it is his first album on the famousBlue Note label. This North Sea Jazz Festival house guest certainly doesn't fit the mold: with his baseball caps and hip T-shirts James doesn't look anything like your usual jazz singer and, in 2013, has freed himself completely of stereotypes and expectations.