Jessica Jones is a saxophonist/composer who has worked with Bo Diddley, Don Cherry, Cab Calloway, Cecil Taylor, Steve Coleman, the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, Raw Fusion, Charli Persip and various Caribbean and African bands. She brings all these influences into play with her group, the Jessica Jones Quartet, which has been featured in the What Is Jazz? Festival at New York?s Knitting Factory and at the Eddie Moore Jazz Festival at Yoshi?s in Oakland, in addition to many Bay Area and East coast clubs, colleges and radio stations. The band?s new CD, Family, was recently released on Nine Winds Records to much critical acclaim.
Growing up in the hotbed of young jazz talent in Berkeley, California, her high school years were spent playing with peers such as Craig Handy, Benny Green, Peter Apfelbaum, Rodney Franklin, Josh Jones, Steven Bernstein and Tony Jones. Jessica received a study grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and later was recognized by San Francisco Focus magazine as one of the ?Top Forty under Forty? for her music and educational work in the Bay Area. She has also received music honors from the Bank of America and the Berkeley Community Partnership.
On moving to New York, Haitian popular music became a training ground for Ms. Jones: she toured nationally and internationally with the band Skah-Shah, and performed and arranged music for two records by another New York-based Haitian band, the Oui Band. In New York she also furthered her jazz education by attending the Jazzmobile school and the early Steve Coleman and Five Elements rehearsals. She also hung out at Barry Harris? Jazz Cultural Theater and the rehearsal studio of the group Air as well as frequenting jam sessions throughout the city, and attending a seminal workshop with the Art Ensemble of Chicago at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. Later, she returned to the Bay Area and performed with and composed for the Bay Area groups Living on the Edge (an improvisation-based large ensemble), John Schott?s Planet Good, Fishhorn (sax trio) and Five Winged Bird (sax quintet) while continuing to play extensively with her own group and others in the area. In the Bay Area, her current Quartet was formed, and Jessica was mentored by the late Don Cherry. She performed on his "Multikulti" CD for A&M Records. She has recently returned to New York City and is performing and teaching regularly.