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.
Since 1993, Mike has been on Hank O'Neal's legendary jazz label, Chiaroscuro.
In 1999, Mike was featured, along with Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn, and Monty Alexander at the 17th annual Floating Jazz Festival, held on board the Queen Elizabeth II. In 2000, Mike was on board again, this time with Roy Hargrove, John Hendricks, and Diane Schurr. He has also been featured on the Norwegian Cruise Lines Jazz Festival, and at the Ultimate Caribbean Jazz Spectacular.
His first release, Oh! Look At Me Now! went on to become the Chiarascuro's best selling title by a new artist. His follow up, Runnin' Wild, was released in 1996 to critical acclaim. When his third release Live At Steinway Hall launched in 1997, Mike became a much sought-after solo live performer.
Since relocating to Las Vegas, Mike has recorded several more CD's, including Stretches Out, with liner notes by Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller, and The Tamburr-Jones Trio recorded at the Vintage Nude Studios with world class vibes player, Christian Tamburr. Music to Look at Boxes By, a compilation of songs from the Penn and Teller pre-show features the Mystery Bass Player from the Mike Jones Duo!
Mike's latest release, Live at the Green Mill was recorded in Chicago in 2004, with bassist Kelly Sill and drummer Tim Davis.
Jones is married to author Cathe Jones, and lives in Las Vegas, NV. He can be seen nightly at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, in the Penn and Teller Theater, opening up and performing in the Penn and Teller show. His music was heard during Penn Jillette's Radio Show on Free FM. The Monkey Tuesday theme song for that show was now on PennRadio.com.
Mike Jones is a Kawai artist.
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.