Joan Watson-Jones Jazz Ensemble

Jazz is a storytelling art, and vocalist/lyricist/composer Joan Watson-Jones,
who calls Derry, New Hampshire and New York City home, has a story to tell. Armed with a master’s degree in music education from the University of
Massachusetts-Lowell, Watson-Jones had a long and successful teaching
career in The Bronx and in New England. But the jazz seed had been growing
in her ever since she was a child in Harlem, where she took piano and tap
lessons at the age of four. Later, she learned to play guitar and drums, and
was coached and mentored by the late singer Joyce Bryant……

GenreEstimate CostStar Rating
Jazz$1000 – $1500★★★★★
Set 2.5 HoursWill Travel 50 MilesRequest this band

cont….. With her husband’s encouragement, Watson-Jones gave in to the inner urge
of her jazz muse, and became a full-time vocalist, lyricist and composer after
she retired from teaching. She has been a mainstay on the New England jazz
scene for three decades, was voted Best Jazz Singer in New Hampshire
by New Hampshire Magazine and produces and hosts her half-hour
podcast, The Jazz Room.

Blessed with a voice that purrs with passion and bops with the best of them,
Watson-Jones is backed by her long-time trio: pianist-arranger Frank Wilkins,
bassist David Zox and drummer Alvin Terry. She has released four
albums: One More Year (1996), I Thought About You (2006), Quiet
Conversation – A Duet (2013) and Choices (2021). Her latest release primarily
consists of her own compositions, including the title track, a lilting, Latinesque
tribute to her mother, a former Moulin Rouge dancer; “A Child’s Dream,” a
mid-tempo, Quiet Storm shout out to her father, who was Martin Luther King,
Jr.’s doctor, and a member of the Upper Manhattan Medical Group (the
inspiration for Billy Strayhorn’s “UMMG”); and “The First Time We Met,” a love
song with a bossa nova beat.
 
Choices is a critics favorite. Jonathan Widran of The JW Vibe writes that
Watson-Jones is a, “deeply soulful, emotional and sublimely swinging singer,”
and Dick Metcalf, Editor of Contemporary Fusion Reviews, writes that the
album is, “full of ultra-cool original jazz stories.” And the public agrees, as
evidenced by her position on the Roots Music Chart for an astonishing 41
weeks.
  

For Watson-Jones, it’s about the swing and the stories. “Our goal is to give
you a joyful musical experience so you go home happy and relaxed,” she
says. “We’re not just about jazz tunes and improvisation, but storytelling in
song.”
Next time Joan Watson-Jones performs in your area, stop by for a story or
two.

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