The Journey of Sean Jones Continues...


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Trumpeter-bandleader and Mack Avenue Recording artist Sean Jones has embarked on a series of quests, passionately plumbing the depths of different wellsprings of his life as a musician. Recorded when he was 24, Eternal Journey was his awakening, “my first step out into the recording world," Jones says. He has developed into one of jazz's top young trumpeters, known for both his lyrical fluidity and high-tier technical facility.

“The idea of being on a journey has been in line with all my albums," he says. “My second album, Gemini, explored both sides of my musical loves, r&b and jazz. I expanded that with Roots, where I revisited my youth and paid tribute to gospel. And then on Kaleidoscope, I created a collage of sounds, exploring different timbres by enlisting vocalists to be collaborators." On Jones' fifth album, The Search Within, the venture continues, but this time the focus turns inward. “This is a journey inside my soul that's taken place over the past 10 years," Jones says. “It's an assessment of where I am in the present as well as how I've learned from my mistakes and triumphs as a way of looking into the future. This album goes very deep for me. It's a spiritual and sonic journey for me."

Sean Jones and his quintet--featuring Orrin Evans (piano), Brian Hogans (alto sax), Walter Smith (tenor sax), Luques Curtis (bass), and John Davis (drums)--will have a CD release event for <>The Search Within at Jazz Standard, Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12. Set times are 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Special guest artists TBA.

On June 15, Sean Jones participated in the Jazz Studio at the White House, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Jones led workshops for 150 young students who came to the White House to celebrate this uniquely American art form and learn from and interact with some of the world's most renowned jazz musicians. Other musicians that participated: Sean's Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra employer and Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Stephen C. Massey, Todd Williams, Eli Yamin and others.

“It was amazing," Jones states, about his experience at the White House Jazz Studio. “Mrs. Obama spoke about her upbringing, and jazz was a big part of it. Her father had a certain standard of living that was influenced by listening to jazz, and it created a vibe in her household."

About meeting the First Lady, Sean says that Mrs. Obama was “very down to earth, sweet and inclusive not exclusive. She is a regular person who just happens to be the most powerful woman in the country. She knew me by name, knew who was around her. She had the girls there, sitting in the front row, and she explained everything that was going on to them. I was very surprised."

Additionally, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra has recently announced that Jones will become Interim Artistic Director beginning in July 2009 and lead the 2009-10 season. He will succeed Jack Schantz, who has led Cleveland's top jazz group for 17 years.

“I'm delighted to take the position and look forward to strengthening the CJO's relationship with area schools, particularly Cleveland public schools, where we'll play a major role in jazz education," says Jones, who is a Warren, Ohio native.

Jones views the CJO appointment as a sort of homecoming. “Maybe 10 years ago," Jones recalls, “I joined the CJO as a player and everyone was very kind to me, gave me constructive criticism when I needed it and allowed me to express myself." He worked with Frank Foster and Gerald Wilson during his stint with the CJO, and Wilson invited him to play on the album “New York, New Sound," which ultimately led to a recording contract with Mack Avenue Records.

“My primary role will be to present CJO as the premier jazz organization in Cleveland," he says. “After all, it is the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and I want it to present what Cleveland has to offer in jazz. Instead of doing tribute concerts to a composer, we're going to think outside of the box and present concerts that have a different kind of feel, like a Valentine's Day concert or a concert of children's music with lullabies rearranged by members of the band."

“I'm all about home. I believe that Cleveland needs a voice, somebody that can give the jazz scene a shot in the arm. There are many fine musicians that still live there. I've been away from home and have had a level of success, now I am coming back. I plan to use this platform to bring the musicians together within the orchestra. I will be segueing out of my full time position with Jazz at Lincoln Center in order to focus more on this endeavor and my touring band."

“Trumpeter Sean Jones takes another step in his continuing development as a frontman and formidable presence on the modern jazz scene...an excellent and highly appealing outing..." JazzTimes Magazine

“No longer standing in the shadows of the greats, trumpeter Sean Jones has been coming into his own since his well received debut, Eternal Journey. His trajectory has coursed through four previous releases, exploring, maturing, and progressing into one of today's shining voices with The Search Within." All About Jazz.com

“There are few trumpet players as good as Sean Jones. “The Search Within," his fifth release on Mack Avenue, shows that in its blend of material that makes varying demands. It is hard to choose the best feature of this album, his playing or his compositional skills, which show on this all-original effort." Pittsburgh Tribune Review

“Trumpeter Sean Jones has really stepped up his game as a composer of contemporary jazz music...writing music that still reflects his love for hard bop, but has intensified it with a more intricate and involved thought process that speaks to his coming of age and maturity. This is exciting music..."Allmusic.com

“I can't imagine anyone finding a single fault with this album aside from its utter lack of, you know, imperfection. A gem, a classic, A+, holy crow."

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