Melvin Jones shines as a modern, consummate jazz artist. Whether performing simmering ballads in an intimate setting or screaming a solo over a professional horn section in front of thousands, Jones’ jazz trumpet delivers for fans and critics alike. His unique style, combined with his superb technical facility, crafts an almost hypnotic tone for audiences, seamlessly creating harmonious jazz compositions drawn from diverse musical genres.
Says Jones, “I believe that all music is essentially similar, and I strive to create art that takes my listeners on an imaginative journey through varied musical styles. I draw from many areas, including different forms of jazz, samba, blues, hip hop, and others. My music attempts to weave these influences together to create unique and memorable sounds and compositions.”
Jones, a native of Memphis, Tenn., began his own personal music journey as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He made an appearance on TLC’s triple platinum hit album “Fanmail,” and he was a founding member of the popular Latin jazz ensemble called Rio Negro. Highly successful, this distinctive group performed nationally to wide acclaim while recording three group albums.
Jones then pursued graduate music study at the Mason Gross School of the Arts where he studied under the world-renowned trumpeter and educator, the late William “Prof” Fielder. “Prof’s” illustrious student roster includes greats like Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, David Sanchez, Kenny Garrett, and classmate Sean Jones. After graduation, Jones continued a multi-faceted career, performing extensively throughout the United States and abroad while also teaching and lecturing at various universities and schools.
Many jazz industry giants have graced the stage with Jones throughout his career, and he relishes these artistic collaborations. He has played and partnered with Don Braden, Clark Terry, Victor Goines, Carmen Lundy, Terence Blanchard, Antonio Hart, and Freddy Cole. Jones is especially proud to have been a member of Illinois Jacquet’s last band which captured his final recording at the Lincoln Center.
Jones has recently had the extraordinary opportunity to team with Tyler Perry’s company appearing and performing in the motion picture, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and in his latest production, “Madea’s Big Happy Family”. Jones continues to tour the country with Mr. Perry’s productions and was filmed and recorded performing in a film version, due for release in April 2011. Other Jones performance credits include being co-founder for the esteemed pre-ensemble horn section named “Solid State,” which has recorded with The Anointed Pace Sisters, The Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, Nicole Scherzinger, Missy Elliott, Keri Hilson, and most recently the “Original Dreamgirl” herself, Jennifer Holiday.
While Jones’ performing career is remarkable, his academic accomplishments are equally impressive. For six years, he served as the Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he had the opportunity to direct the world-renowned Morehouse College Jazz Ensemble and Marching Band. Dubbed the “House of Funk,” the marching band has received wide acclaim playing for both local and international events, including a Super Bowl and multiple nationally televised appearances.
Currently, Jones is most excited about recording his first solo album entitled “Pivot” on Turnaround Records. Due to be released in Spring 2011, the album is a highly unique and personal achievement. “Pivot” is Jones’ first recording as a band leader, and nearly all of its compositions are original and self-written.
Says Jones, “The concept of ‘Pivot’ reflects my multidirectional experiences, and also the artists’ ability to perform diverse styles at one time. I am thrilled to have brought together for this album some of my favorite musicians who represent such a broad spectrum of creative talent. My fans can expect the jazz on ‘Pivot’ to include grooves of many different genres played by some of the premier performers in the industry.”