Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Sat, August 20, 2016 23:01:07
March 2016 included performing modern jazz to a crowd expecting Glenn Miller (akin to the scene of Bob's Country Bunker in The Blues Brothers), an insightful and sobering two and a half weeks of jury service, a little Persian gold dust, the 25th local gang show and performances with Adelphi laptop and jazz sextet at Manchester Art Gallery.
During April I was working with Worcester Amateur Operatic Society on a fantastic production entitled 'Children of Eden'. It was certainly a healthy challenge for my reading and a great opportunity to work with a wonderful orchestral team of musicians.
May included a cross section of gigs including performances with saxophonist James Hunt, a cameo on Gardener's World with JC Jazz, as well as working extensively (as I have throughout the whole of this year) with the Kim Cypher Quartet.
In June, Kim recorded her debut album which I played on which I look forward to hearing later this year. It included a fantastic line up of some of the best jazz musicians in the South West and UK. I've also worked as a sideman on several other recordings this year which should be out soon.
This Summer so far has seen a enormous variety of it's ups and downs and everything else in between. The untimely and cruel loss of my closest companion, Brodie on 6th July continues to haunt me but they were four and a half years of unconditional mutual love that will never be forgotten. This loss followed the more timely but equally sad loss of my Nan on 2nd June. Needless to say, the household now has a new little 10 week old "gremlin" to contend with who I'm sure will bring us much joy.
During the Summer however performance highlights included some excellent Birmingham gigs with the ATP quintet at the Jam House followed by a run of dates in July at Birmingham and Solihull International Jazz Festival. Everything from the sandpits of Solihull soul to a Mailbox jazz fusion bonanza with the ATP quartet, Victorian pubs and confusing one way systems. August however also provided a brief rest bite by way of a lovely trip to the Cornish coast for a few days, something I hope to repeat.
Moving forward this year, I will be focusing on the completion of my PhD at the University of Salford alongside my live gigging schedule which included a series of album promo gigs with Kim alongside two dates in the North. On 8th October, I'm delighted to be returning to the Marsden Jazz Festival and on 8th December I will be performing at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester with the Adelphi Laptop Jazz Sextet once again.
Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Wed, February 10, 2016 16:22:05
The latter half of 2015 included some fantastic gigs, notably Birmingham Jazz Festival with the excellent saxophonist Simon Spillett and super rhythm section of Mal Garrett (drums) and Ben Crosland (bass) who stepped in at the last minute. Our first of two gigs was at New Street station. Quite possibly the worst get-in to a gig in history given the unprecedented construction work going on but it's testament to such professional players when we rise above it and still make it happen, on time, which is more than what could be said for the train to Penzance which was fifty seven minutes late. We should all know given the forty six times it must have been announced during our gig! Our evening set was in China town and a thoroughly enjoyable show. I also had the pleasure of performing at Jazzlines' programme with my own band at the Symphony Hall Foyer, promoting After the Pier last Summer which remains a firm gigging highlight of 2015 too. The After the Pier band will be performing again on 21st June at the Jam House in Birmingham as well as returning to London soon.
More recently I've started working with a number of new live projects. The Paul Mason Secret Sextet which focus on performing alternative contemporary jazz compositions by the likes of horn players such as Matt Wates, Theo Travis and Jerry Bergonzi as well as bebop pieces by Art Pepper. Recently we've been exploring some Yellowjackets material for future performances. My other recent musical adventures included a really cool blues/jazz recording project with up and coming vocal talent Abi Kelsey and a jazz masterclass at Kidderminster College.
A lot of my time outside of gigging is focused on my PhD work, exploring alternative resources within contemporary composition. I have just begun my third year which will centre around a large-scale collaborative piece that addresses all of my research questions, focusing on the use of alternate guitar tunings, arch form, live/recorded and composed/improvised material alongside the use of graphical and conventional musical notation in one score. My work with the laptop ensemble will also include a special live performance at Manchester Art Gallery on Thursday 24th March. I plan to present at several conferences this year with my final portfolio and thesis due to be completed in 2017.
Other upcoming live gigs include work with the Kim Cypher Quartet (new release due out later this year) and the KoGo project; who's short video series recently attracted the attention of Michael McDonald. Producer Simon Tittley and I will be reuniting on a short series of videos exploring rare vintage amps using some solo guitar arrangements I've been working on to demonstrate this. The first shoot will be in late February and I will be using the material to re-enter the 2016 Made in New York Jazz Competition and Lee Ritenour's Six String Theory jazz contest.
All in all, probably my busiest year ahead on both music and academic fronts. Big changes may lie in the wings beyond this, time will no doubt tell.
Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Sat, June 27, 2015 14:01:52
Lots of new live dates over Summer 2015. I've also entered the Made in NY jazz competition for 2016. You can vote here: http://madeinnyjazz.com/lee_jones/
Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Sat, December 06, 2014 19:26:41
I am delighted to report the new album 'AFTER THE PIER' will be out in 2015 followed by touring and promotion. Keep an eye out within the UK jazz media. Special thanks to Simon Tittley, Drago Matisse, Dennis Rollins, Rab Handleigh, Andrew Shillingford, Ben Thomas, Alex Steele, Mark Sacco and Byron for their outstanding contributions to the project. The album will be digitally available early in the new year and physical copies can be purchased through www.leejones-guitarist.com as of December 2014.
Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Fri, April 18, 2014 12:38:49
The first entry of 2014 :)
The third album is nearly here! The new website is really taking shape and this will be launched together with the new record, followed a big promotional campaign in 2015 onwards.
Positive start at Salford, I'm enjoying my work and looking forward to recording some new material as part of my research later this year (this may provide the basis for another future release so watch this space!). I also had the opportunity to visit Media City and recently attended an insightful talk/workshop by leading concert pianist Xenia Pestova.
Elsewhere, lots of new live dates both with my own groups and JC Jazz, VIP and George Montague's Not So Big Band. I'm looking forward to starting the Hereford gang show run next week again; my fourth appearance. Other upcoming dates include the trio's return to Newcastle-under-Lyme jazz weekend and performing with Tipitina at this year's Swansea International Jazz Festival in the Summer.
Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Wed, October 16, 2013 17:52:42
Well, what another busy year it's been. Recording LAJ 3, performing with SFTTH - Live alongside work with my own trio, Dom Franks' Strayhorn Quartet, JC Jazz, VIP, private teaching and currently a new guitar course at Kidderminster College. Going into 2014, I'm looking forward to beginning my MPhil at the University of Salford having now been formally accepted and the completion of my third solo album (we're nearly at the mastering stage). Back to the re-stringing...
Road BlogPosted by Lee Jones Mon, August 12, 2013 15:13:53
A hectic few months of live playing - after finishing the Little Shop of Horrors run at the Courtyard, I've been busy performing widely with my own trio (highlights of which have included the Wales Millennium Centre and Newcastle-under-Lyme jazz weekend), George Montague at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, ACP Festival and Gloucester food festival in addition to various dates with JC Jazz, VIP and of course 'SONGS FROM THE 13TH HOUR - LIVE'. Our recent dates at Stratford Jazz and Ray's Jazz at Foyles will probably conclude promotion of this project as the focus now draws towards the third studio release. We've had some great sessions so far and hope to begin mastering the album properly around November. All being well, I'm hopeful of an early 2015 release which will include the new website. However, I will be focusing more upon media coverage, youtube videos and radio airplay just for the time being rather than live dates due to the costs and effectiveness of recent touring. Additionally, returning to Uni for post-grad research study next year will absorb most of my budget! It doesn't help that I now know what a £200 dental filling looks like too :/ Anyway, moving on... upcoming dates for 2013 include further work with my own trio plus JC Jazz and VIP. Gang show 2014 dates have also been added to the live dates page...