Over the past years José James has been a regular guest at the North Sea Jazz Festival. This is partly due to the ability of the 37-year-old vocalist to always surprise his audience with his musical innovation. Hip hop, gospel and blues are played just as easily as songs filled with technical vocal fireworks, accompanied by beautiful, streamlined piano lines. This time James will come to Rotterdam with a tribute to his musical idol: Billie Holiday. The legendary American jazz singer, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year, was his incentive for wanting to become a singer when he was young. For his fifth album, Yesterday I Had the Blues (2015), James collected his most precious ‘Lady Day’ songs and transformed these beautiful tranquil impressions of an age gone by into contemporary jewels of jazz, using his dark baritone as a beacon in the sometimes dark misery, together with his fantastic band who drive him on and are his musical compass.