The young jazz veteran trumpeter Sean Jones believes passionately in championing the creative arc of artists who are committed to their life journey. “I think the progression of the art form [jazz] comes with people being allowed to be themselves in their rawest form with no compromise,” he has noted and added, “My body of work is going to show a progression of who Sean Jones is in the most honest form.”
While he spoke these words a few years ago, they serve as a vivid manifesto for his new Mack Avenue Records album, Live from Jazz at the Bistro, his eighth for the label and arguably the most dynamic, playful and loose-limbed excursion of his career. Indeed, the 38-year-old Jones brings to the sessions a stalwart poise, the fire of ecstasy and a whimsy in motion. “In a nutshell, I’ve been wanting to do a live album for a while,” he says. “I wanted to capture the band’s energy live and record what it’s like to go to one of my gigs. Granted, recording in a studio creates a polished sound where the music is all tied up. But this album, it’s real raw.”
Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist Sean Jones.
From the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to the SFJAZZ Collective, Mr. Jones is a musical chameleon, comfortable in any musical setting no matter the role or genre. Through his far-reaching career he has kept a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership, forming the foundation for groups that have produced and released eight recordings on Mack Avenue Records.
Mr. Jones has been prominently featured in recordings and performances with many major figures in jazz, even getting selected by Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter for their A Tribute to Miles tour in 2011. He has also shared the stage with Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Gerald Wilson.
Mr. Jones is an internationally recognized educator. He is president of the Jazz Education Network and holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at The John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. As well as artistic Director for the NYO JAZZ Program of Carnegie Hall. Previously, he served as chair of the Brass department at Berklee College of Music in Boston.