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James Chance Biography


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Birth Name: James Siegfried
Born: 1953/04/20
Genres: No Wave, Punk Funk, Punk Jazz


James Chance, also known as James White (born 20 April 1953 as James Siegfried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), is an American saxophonist, songwriter and singer.

A key figure in No Wave, Chance has been playing a combination of improvisational jazz-like music and punk in the New York music scene since the late 1970s, in such bands as Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Chance and the Contortions, James White and the Blacks (as he appeared in the film Downtown 81), The Flaming Demonics, James Chance & the Sardonic Symphonics, and James Chance and Terminal City.

Chance differed from some of his No Wave compatriots by possessing (and demanding from his band) a certain level of musical skill and talent. His music can be described as combining the freeform playing of Ornette Coleman with the solid funk rhythm of James Brown, though filtered through a punk rock lens.