Sean Jones to Jam with Students at Cafe 939

By
Nick Balkin
October 1, 2008
Sean Jones
Sean Jones
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

Marsalis Berklee Jams, an ongoing series that brings outstanding working jazz ensembles to Berklee to perform with the college's finest students, continues with trumpeter Sean Jones on October 29–30 at 8:00 p.m. at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston Street, Boston.

In two public events, Jones and his band will play brief sets that will segue into jam sessions. Tickets for the evening programs are $10.00. They will be on sale October 1 at ticketmaster.com and at the Berklee Performance Center box office, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston.

Participation in the jam sessions will be open to all Berklee students. On October 29–30, the quartet will present two daytime master classes open to Berklee students only.

Sean Jones is a world-class trumpeter and composer who has released four albums on Mack Avenue Records and is featured on the Grammy Award-winning Turned to Blue by Nancy Wilson. With each new project, he adds a new style to his repertoire—modern bop, funk/soul, gospel—and on Kaleidoscope, his latest release, he showcases the music and voices of top-flight singers. In 2004, Jones became lead trumpeter for the renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra after having the position offered to him by Wynton Marsalis. As a session musician, Jones has performed with Jon Faddis, Tom Harrell, Jimmy Heath, Joe Lovano, Gerald Wilson, and others. Jones is a two-time recipient of Down Beat's Rising Star award. In 2007 he was voted Best New Artist in the Jazz Times Reader's Poll and nominated as Trumpeter of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Born in Ohio, Jones started playing trumpet in fifth grade. By high school, inspired by the music of Miles Davis, he had developed a strong interest in jazz. Currently a professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Jones has a bachelor's degree from Youngstown State University and a master's degree from Rutgers University.

Marsalis Jams was conceived by Branford Marsalis as an initiative to provide meaningful interaction between established musical ensembles and dedicated student musicians at the high school and college levels. These consist of mini-residencies that include classroom interaction, and culminate in performance/jam sessions in which the visiting band follows an opening set of its own music by inviting student musicians on stage to play. Marsalis Jams provides a rare opportunity for students to play with working groups and opens a window into the music's creative process for members of the audience. Since 2003, the program has been successfully presented in colleges and high schools in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas.

Marsalis Berklee Jams, which launched in April 2008 with the Miguel Zenón Quartet, is a groundbreaking collaboration between Berklee and Marsalis Music, Branford Marsalis's Cambridge, Massachusetts-based record label. "This is 180 degrees from the typical jazz residency," said Bob Blumenthal, Marsalis Music creative consultant and Marsalis Jams director. "Instead of having established individual musicians perform with student ensembles, Marsalis Berklee Jams allows music students to perform with and learn from working bands. Our initial Marsalis Berklee Jams last spring took both the educational and performance components of the program to the next level, and Sean Jones's band should prove equally successful in engaging and inspiring the Berklee community."