JUNE 2nd: Joan Watson-Jones and Friends

June 2nd at 7:30 pm

Tickets $15 HERE or the CCA

Seating first come first served at cocktail tables and concert seating.  Cash Bar

When you see jazz singer Joan Watson-Jones,
you’ll get more than a few standards. After 35 years as a straight-ahead swing vocalist, she changed her
act to build a closer connection with her audience and include original material. The classic songs are
still there, but they are interspersed with and connected to personal stories from her life and her
unusual family history. An original ballad about life choices is framed by the story of her mother, a
Moulin Rouge dancer and exhibition boxer who gave up performing to settle down with Joan’s father.
Her long-time band might play Strayhorn ‘s, Upper Manhattan Medical Group, honoring the 1950’s, all
African-American physician team in Harlem, which happens to have been co-founded by her father.
While the show may focus on the family Joan was born into, it’s performed by an extended family she
chose. Frank Wilkins, Alvin Terry and Dave Zox have worked with Joan in various configurations for
almost 20 years. As a full band, they have done shows together for over 12 years, dating back to her
second album I Thought About You (2006). In an interview with Pat Williams of The Word Boston, Joan
credited this group with being instrumental in reshaping her approach to jazz. With this group, “each
member has their own musical idea and once one person plays, another person thinks ‘cool, now let’s
try this’. The music becomes a friendly cooperative work of blended ideas not just one person’s vision.”
These relationships are reflected in the show, with tight arrangements surrounding a team that enjoys
improvising together.
After the show, if you want to spend more time with Joan, you can download one of her three albums or
listen to her weekly radio show, The Jazz Room. Her most recent album, Quiet Conversations (2013), is a
collection of duets with Frank Wilkins, focused on original songs. Links to all can be found on her
website, www.joanwatsonjones.com.

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