Born: August 11, 1962 Primary Instrument: Piano
Mike Jones is a pianist playing timeless jazz.
The man recreates a lost jazz art form. He has made a mission of carrying on the tradition of two handed solo piano jazz with a new twist. Mike's music encompasses styles ranging from James P. Johnson and Fats Waller through Art Tatum and up to Dave McKenna and Oscar Peterson. For years, Mike performed at the finest jazz clubs in the Northeast, including Zinno, and Toast in New York, and Scullers and the Regatta Bar in Boston. Mike even appeared daily on the Nancy Merrill Show, a live television show on the CBS affiliate WHDH Channel 7 in Boston, before finding himself on stage nightly with Penn and Teller in Las Vegas....
The Most remarkable pure technique of any piano player working in jazz today...over the course of three solo albums, Mike Jones has quietly established himself as the successor to the stupefyingly virtousic Oscar Peterson, in much the same way Peterson took the baton from the previously peerless Art Tatum in the 1950's. -Neil Tesser,
Mike Jones is a true virtuoso, a two-handed pianist who often recalls Oscar Peterson while throwing in some heated stride now and then, along with basslines worthy of Dave McKenna -Scott Yanow, Cadence Magazine
He displays a ferociously driving independence of right and left-hand lines...and a reflective lyricism tastefully distant from the floral bouquets of other chops-endowed pianists. -Jack Sohmer, JAZZ TIMES
He is after (Dave) Mc Kenna, the great living Mainstream Monster of jazz piano, with great taste in standards and a sense of swing strong enough to rock the reading room of the British Museum. And, incredibly, he's getting better as he gets older. -Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News
The right hand is constantly in motion, the wellspring of perceptive ideas lavish and overflowing, while the left hand lays down a heavy bass line that would be the envy of many a master of the upright. -Jack Bowers, All About Jazz
Although he can also rip Tatum-esque lightning bolts and cross - chop the format like Oscar Peterson, speed is not really at issue. It's Jones's playful and original treatments of the oldies that make his choices fresh and engaging...his syntax is always polite and his melodies correct. -Fred Bouchard, Downbeat Magazine, The Boston Phoenix
To put Mike Jones in perspective, one would only have to look around the room during his performances at the 1999 Floating Jazz Festival. Among the people who came to hear him play night after night, were Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, Shirley Horn and Junior Mance; not exactly folks who are easily impressed...he interprets great songs, with an uncanny sense of melody, innovation, and unfathomable technique...he's simply incredible! -Jon Bates
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Las Vegas, NV
Mike talks about the history of jazz piano including demonstrations of different styles, and most specifically about solo playing. Students are encouraged to play in a master class environment, with Mike providing insight and helpful ideas to improve their playing.