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May 26 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ashton Parson was born in the small town of Cheraw, South Carolina (also the birthplace of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie). He grew up hearing Otis Redding, Bill Withers, and The Supremes at his paternal great-grandmother’s house and Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Wanda Jackson via his mom’s side. When James was 17, he moved to New York City to escape the constraints of his small-town community. He attended college, worked as a waiter, and sang at various karaoke and open-mic nights. In 2011, he released an independent EP, which caught the attention of one of his current managers, who was then working at a publishing company. “He liked my writing and thought I could get a foot in the door writing songs for other people,” James says. “It only took two months before the labels were like, ‘Who is the voice on the demo?’”