Willie Jones III All Stars

Love Songs and Lovers…The Ones You Have Forgotten

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Willie Jones III, Drums (Leader)
Ever since 1997, when he moved to New York City from Los Angeles, his hometown, Willie Jones III has been one of the jazz capital’s most prominent drummers. Whether functioning as a savvy bandleader or high-profile sideman, Jones applies to every context an abiding musicality and a tonal personality that, as Wynton Marsalis puts it, is “ever tasteful,” marked by what pianist Eric Reed, his frequent collaborator, calls “a West Coast swagger in his swing, with a looseness that isn’t lackadaisical and an edge that isn’t overwhelming.”

“I still follow Billy Higgins’ model,” Jones says. “I’m always trying to support whoever I’m working with to make the music sound as good as possible. I have a good balance. I’ll continue to evolve as a leader, but I’ll always play as a sideman—I still love learning and playing other people’s music.”

Terell Stafford, Trumpet
Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Robin Eubanks, Trombone
Robin Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation. He divides his rigorous performing schedule with an appointment at The Oberlin College Conservatory where he serves as a tenured Professor of Jazz Trombone and Jazz Composition. He is an esteemed professor at Berklee College of Music, and served at New England Conservatory for two years.  Robin has become a popular lecturer, Yamaha clinician and conducts Master Classes at leading institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad.  In 2014, Robin won the Jazz Times Critics Poll for Best Trombonist and is a multiple winner of Downbeat’s Readers and Critics Polls for Trombonist of the Year.

Ralph Moore, Saxophone
Ralph Moore has lived in the U.S. since 1970. He is a fine tenor saxophonist influenced by John Coltrane, but possessing a slightly softer tone. He moved to New York in 1981 and has recorded several fine albums for Landmark, Criss Cross, Savoy, and Mons (with the L.A. Jazz Summit).  He has toured extensively with J.J. Johnson, and since 1995, has been a member of the Tonight Show Orchestra in Los Angeles.

Eric Reed, Piano
Through more than a quarter-century as a first-caller on the jazz scene, Reed has articulated this inclusive conception as a leader of numerous ensembles, solo performer, composer, producer, educator and sideman with numerous artists. Whatever the context, whatever the style, he consistently animates the flow with fresh ideas, virtuosic chops, intellectual clarity and an unwavering will to groove.

Gerald Cannon, Bass
Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Gerald’s initial inspiration was his father Benjamin, a guitarist, who bought him his first electric bass at the ripe young age of 10. He began playing bass in his father’s group ‘The Gospel Expressions' and he never looked back. Gerald attended The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse where he met jazz great Milt Hinton. This meeting not only changed Gerald’s major in college from physical education to music, it also changed the rest of his life.

You can find more information at https://www.nightisalive.com/jonesandfriends

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