"James Benton's unwavering devotion to his community exemplifies strong moral fiber and character and I would recommend his services to any organization in the community." --Arleta Christian, Activity Coordinator, The Urban League of Portland.
"[Sweet Baby James] is not only a magnificient performer; he is also an extremely kind man who cares deeply for his community... I would encourage you to collaborate with him on projects including any fundraising, celebrity appearances, and special promotional events you undertake." --Julie Stephens, Executive Director, Scappoose Senior Center
Sweet Baby James has had a long and notable career, contributing to the growth of jazz and blues in the NW since the late '50s. Along the way, he's often given back to youngsters, performing in schools and mentoring young musical talents from Mel Brown to recent Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding. But being a senior citizen now, James has grown concerned with the musical needs of his own generation. James feels that many seniors are starved for the kind of melodic, toe-tapping music that they grew up with.
So, just over eight years ago now, James began a community service project: bringing quality music and entertainment to seniors in Multnomah and Columbia counties. Each event grew over the previous one, with increasing numbers of celebrity attendees and larger audiences. Now James is working towards taking his senior outreach project to the next level. His plan is to bring his uplifting, timeless music--played by an all-star band--to four designated senior centers in the Portland metropolitan area. As at James' earlier senior outreach events--including a pair sponsored by the Portland Trailblazers--there will be dancing, refreshments, and history talk along with the music.
If you're aware of or affilated with a local senior center that might be interested in speaking to James about this project, you can contact him via the "Contact" tab at this website. Or if you might be interested in supporting James' efforts thru sponsorship and or/financial donation, please let him know.