03.11.15UPDATE****** It's 2015 already!?!?
WOW is all I can say!!! I\'ve been so busy that I just had a chance to take a look at my own site! it\'s almost shameful that I\'ve neglected to update this information for nearly two years!! Well.....let\'s sum it all up now!
2014... This was a GREAT year as I found my way onto the small screen and big screen a couple times! First, there was the Annual Trumpet Awards which gave me the opportunity to perform with Joe, Kid N Play, Chubb Rock, Melle Mel, and the one and only Charlie Wilson, aka \"Uncle Charlie!!\" And to top that nationally broadcast awards show off, we performed a special tribute honoring Gamble and Huff (they let us know that they loved the band too!!). Then, after a few passport stamps to tropical destinations, I ended up back on screen performing for B.E.T\'s \"Sunday Best,\" once again under the leadership of the legendary \"Big Jim\" Wright!! There\'s no way to describe how awesome it is to work with such a tight band on such a worthwhile show! Then, there were some great performance opportunities that landed me on stage with Norman Brown, Nnena Freelon, Jennifer Holliday, Take 6, the First Lady of Soul herself Aretha Franklin, and my Memphis brother, Kirk Whalum! I spent much time in the Fall working on the sets of two different movies (wow) in two different capacities! And the year ended with a life-altering trip to Middle East to ring in the New Year in Doha, Qatar! That particular trip was highlighted by my visits to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Club in Doha which resulted in my friend Jerry Wheldon (Harry Connick Jr.) bringing me up to play alongside of him every night i was there! Sooo...2014 was GREAT!!!
2015 has already begun on a high note (literally) with another smash performance on the Annual Trumpet Awards. This year the show was co-produced by Big Jim and Daniel Moore....and needless to say the lineup was ridiculous! We hit with the \"Masters of Funk\" (Confunkshun, The Dazz Band, The Barkays, Brick), Chante Moore, Teddy Riley, Avery Sunshine, and many more! The night culminated with a special tribute to The Isley Brothers and we ended that song backing up Ernie Isley on \"Summer Breeze!!\" No way to describe how cool that was! Then a few weeks after that I ended up in the horn section for the O\'Jays!! Maaaaaaaaan.....that music is timeless!! With over a dozen recording sessions already done this year, one that stands out the most to me was the opportunity to work with the legendary producer, arranger, orchestrator himself, Carl Marsh. This man is a living legend and has been an integral part of the American Music landscape for over three decades. It\'s a guarantee that you know his work, even if you\'ve never heard his name!! Seriously honored!!
All I can say is the sky is the limit and a lot of new projects are looming over the horizon. The world is not ready this year!!
11.11.132013 Closing out*****It's been a GREAT year!
To say the least, this has been an exciting year! I've been able to record multiple TV shows, another movie, reality TV series, a couple international performances, a tour with one of the members of Maroon 5 (PJ Morton), arranging horns for multiple sessions, and even more great developments are coming through! To close the year, I'm preparing to take a trip to Thailand for the first time to perform with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra (if they can resolve certain civil issues in time!). So I'm thankful for yet another exciting year of opportunities and looking forward to what the future has to hold. More great news on the way soon!!
So excited about how well this year has been going so far!! With the creation of our new band, The Good Times Brass Band, we've found alot of success and high profile performance opportunities seem to be coming out of the woodworks! One of which will have us performing at the Women's NCAA Final Four in New Orleans next month! I guess when it's meant to be, it will be!! Also, I was honored to play as a part of the house band for the 2013 Trumpet Awards with an all star band under the direction of the legendary producer/ songwriter "Big Jim" Wright!! It will air on TV One March 2013!! Also, many other shows have been offered to my quintet, the first of which will be down in Florida in my favorite second home at Florida State University! We'll present a masterclass later this month and a concert featuring my quintet along with legendary bassist Rodney Jordan and awe-inspiring drummer Leon Anderson! We have an exciting year ahead!! Stay tuned for more good times!!
10.25.12THE NEW "GOOD TIMES BRASS BAND" and a New Movie!!
As 2012 nears an end, I'm excited about all of the opportunities that continue to come my way! First-off....I've teamed up with my boy, Mike Burton (saxophonist/ producer)to form a new band along with the most well-known and respected musicians residing in Atlanta, and the end result is a new Brassband/ Go-Go Band aptly named "the Good Times Brass Band!!" This group is about to make some serious noise and introduce this city to a new sound! The premier performance of the band will be October 30th at Legends Restaurant and Lounge in Atlanta, Georgia (formerly Django's). Good Times!! (literally)
Also, Tyler Perry has just released a new DVD of a hilarious play we filmed last year entitled "I Don't Want to Do Wrong" starring Palmer Williams Jr. ("House of Payne") and the super talented Patrice Lovely!! Let me first say the music for this show is UNBELIEVABLE!!! The show itself is extremely entertaining, and the message is right on time. Whether or not you are a fan of Perry's works, I highly recommend that you check this one out! www.tylerperry.com
I have ALOT more exciting news to share, but I'll hold off until you can see the fruits of my endless labor. I can say with certainty that GOD has opened up some new doors for me, and I intend to jump through them!! Keep shining folks!
10.09.122012 Has been CRAZY!!
So it's been a whirlwind year so far, and as we near the end I can't help but look back and take stock. I started the year off touring with Tyler Perry on his biggest and best show ever, and it was an thrill to make such a tangible difference in o many people's lives while doing something I love to do! Almost immediately after that tour, I hit the road again to tour with the legendary Patti Labelle on the Summer Music Fest Tour (which also featured Tank, Babyface, The O'Jays, and the Frankie Beverly featuring Maze). It was an amazing experience night after night!! Though this past tour unexpectedly got cut short, I'm back in full swing playing and traveling every weekend with one of the bands I helped to start. This time is also allowing me to refocus on my band and my next project as well as some VERY exciting and necessary projects on the way in the near future. So this year has reminded me that the sky is the limit!! Good times on the way!!
06.25.12Summer Tours and Shows
2012 has been awesome so far!! The year started out with some time spent overseas and performing in various venues across the country. Then from the beginning of March up until the end of May I was back out touring with Tyler Perry's sensational show, "Madea Gets a Job!" Then we kicked off the summer with a couple live DVD recordings and audio recording sessions! Now I'm preparing to open up for Jill Scott this weekend with my boy, Jeff Bradshaw's band Brass Heaven. And then I'll hit the road again with Patti LaBelle on the Summer Music Fest Tour alongside Babyface, Tank, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, and more!!! Check back frequently for updates, because the sky is the limit!!
02.25.12Back on the road with Tyler Perry!!
I have just begun rehearsals with the Ronnie Garrett Orchestra for Tyler Perry's latest tour, "Madea Gets a Job!!" This production will be unlike anything Tyler has done before and he will personally be on the road with us, so he's making this one a really big deal!! The production is slated to run from mid March through the end of May 2012. Hope to see you there. For more details on the tour and the cities in the run, either click on the link or log on to www.tylerperry.com or purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com. Good Times on the way!!
02.23.12Melvin Jones Endorsed by Reunion Blues Cases
I'm thrilled to announce that I'm now an endorsing artist for my favorite gig bag company, Reunion Blues!! They've been known to provide some of the most durable cases and gig bags around (and stylish!!)!! I'm extremely excited to join this family which includes such legendary artists as Rickey Minor, Wycliffe Gordon, Billy Kilson, Buddy Guy, Mark Whitfield, and Ricky Skaggs to name a few! I personally LOVE the Continental Series of cases as they are the most attractive and most protective cases I've ever seen!! But that's just my humble opinion. Good times are on the horizon!!
12.19.11PIVOT listed in the TOP 20 Jazz Albums of 2011 by CMJ!
"Pivot" named to the top 20 Jazz Albums of 2011 by CMJ!!! This is exciting news, and I am honored to be counted amongst the calibre of artists also on the list!! Thank you CMJ for the love and thank all of you for your continued support!! If you don't have your copy of the album yet, make it a Christmas present to yourself!! Grab a copy on itunes, amazon,com, cdbaby.com, and other online retailers! Good times!!
12.13.1136 weeks and the album is still charting!!
2011 has brought many surprises as the new album "Pivot" continues to chart internationally, and draw great reviews. I can't express enough my gratitude for the support and adoration we've received since releasing the album. Also, I must thank Turnaround Records for believing in us enough to put this album out there. The team has been working hard to keep this music in the public eye while I've been stretched pretty thinly across the musical landscape, working on various projects and bands across multiple genres. I've also been fortunate to travel around the country and across seas while making multiple film and television appearances, and even having the chance to perform alongside some of my hip hop idols from my youth!! So 2011 has indeed been a great introduction to the industry, but 2012 is going to be even better as we expand our reach and presence even further. Hope you can join us for the journey! Let's get it!
10.20.11I'M ON THE BALLOT FOR 5 GRAMMY AWARDS!!!
I'm happy to announce that this year I'm on the ballot for 5 Grammy Awards!! It's great to think that other people like what I've put out there enough to consider me for such a big award! "Pivot" has been a serious thrill ride since it's release back in April, and I'm thrilled to see where it will take me in the future. However, fingers are crossed and prayers going up for this special honor! Good times!!! Check out the categories I'm shooting for below:
Field 21 - Composing/Arranging Category 57 - Best Instrumental Composition
011. ANGELS - Melvin Jones, arranger (Melvin Jones)
Field 21 - Composing/Arranging Category 57 - Best Instrumental Composition
073. DIZZYSPELL - Melvin Jones, composer (Melvin Jones)
Field 10 - Jazz Category 30 - Best Improvised Jazz Solo
164. THE JUG-OR-KNOT Melvin Jones, soloist
165. DECEMBER 18TH Melvin Jones, soloist (Mace Hibbard)
Field 10 - Jazz Category 32 - Best Jazz Instrumental Album
1. PIVOT Melvin Jones
08.08.11"Pivot" is at 15 weeks on the jazz charts and counting!!
We've enjoyed nearly four months on top of the CMJ Jazz Charts, and it seems like the album hasn't lost steam yet! The response has been amazing and we've received nearly three dozen EXCELLENT reviews from notable jazz critics, artists, and DJ's across the world! The record is in heavy rotation around the glove hitting foreign markets like Amsterdam, Japan, Brazil, Italy, France, the U.K., and even charting on the Canadian Jazz charts!! Let's keep it going!!!
07.15.11"PIVOT" has been at the top of the jazz charts for the 11th straight week!!
It's been an exciting experience to say the least!! Thanks Turnaround Records label, Kari-On productions, and a great team of friends and family in my corner we've been able to remain in the top tiers of the national jazz charts for 11 weeks straight! I'm also happy to report that the CD has begun to chart internationally as well making it's way onto the Canadian charts, and getting international airplay in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, and Australia!! I'm humbled by the support shown so far, and am looking forward to what the future has to offer!
06.06.11PIVOT reviewed on ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM!!!
The album has garnered ALOT of great feedback and reviews since the April 5th release!!! Also, it has remained at the top of the radio charts and is in heavy rotation around the world!! It's so exciting to see that so many people like the music. Here's one of those great reviews written by Edward Blanco . Check out the review by clicking on the link -Or- Visit allaboutjazz.com to find this and more exciting news in jazz! If you like what you see, please let us know by clicking "like" and recommending the review to the world by clicking on "recommend." Good times!!
04.30.11PIVOT is #1 on Jazz Radio Programming!!
My first solo album "Pivot" is the #1 jazz album in Radio Adds for the past week!! It was the first week for official album promotions, and the album came out strong!! Sales have been great and the record is even selling overseas in Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, Italy, and in a few countries I've never even been to!! It's exciting to say the least and humbling to know that so many people enjoy my music. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, check it out today and see if this journey is for you too!
"Pivot" is available online at iTunes, turnaroundrecords.com, Cdbaby.com, Digstation.com, and other online retailers!! You can purchase a physical CD or download a digital version.
04.14.11PIVOT CD Release a HUGE SUCCESS!!
The release weekend was a HUGE success as we played four shows to a sold-out house!! The turnout was so great that the doorman had to turn people away for all four shows! The crowd was WILD, the band was killing, the applause was LOUD, and people were leaving with smiles on their faces and CD's in their hands! Not to mention my good friend Jennifer Holliday stopped by the first night and brought the house down with her performance of Etta James' "At Last." Needless to say, it was an amazing weekend, and I want to thank everyone for their continued support.
The CD "Pivot" is now available online at iTunes, turnaroundrecords.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, digstation.com, and other online retailers. Release week, the album actually made it's way into the top 30 on iTunes!! Let's keep that momentum going! Get your copy today, and make sure you leave feedback. I want to know what you think!!
04.05.11"PIVOT" NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!!!
I'm excited to announce that my debut album "Pivot" is now available to purchase online at iTunes and digstation.com. Soon you will also be able to go through Cdbaby.com, Amazon.com, and other online retailers to grab a copy! Now we're gearing up for the weekend-long Album Release Party at Churchill Grounds this Friday and Saturday!!! Doors open at 9:00pm and the 1st set begins at 9:30pm!! The band is going to be killing, and we have special musical guests stopping through to help celebrate this release!! Extremely exciting times, so I hope you can join us!! The details are below:
Melvin Jones CD Release Weekend
Churchill Grounds Jazz Café
660 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Friday, April 8th & Saturday, April 9th
doors open @ 9:00pm
1st set @ 9:30pm; 2nd set @ 11:30pm
$10 cover charge at the door only
$10 minimum at the tables
03.16.11ALBUM RELEASE PARTY APRIL 8th-9th!!!!
My solo debut will be officially celebrated at Churchill Grounds in Atlanta on April 8th and April 9th!!!! Everyone is invited to join in on the party! The band will definitely be killing with Louis Heriveaux on Piano, Mace HIbbard on Sax, Rodney Jordan on Bass, and Marlon Patton on Drums! CD's will be available for purchase on the spot, as well as on itunes, Cdbaby, Amazon.com, and the Turnaround Records website! The doors open at 9:00pm and the sets begin at 9:30pm and 11:30pm. Special musical guests will be joining in on the festivities, so you don't want to miss this weekend!! Hope to see you there!
02.17.11Solo Debut "Pivot" coming April 5th, 2011!!!
I'm very proud to announce that my solo debut album entitled "Pivot" will be officially released on April 5th, 2011!! The team over at Turnaround Records has been great with helping to get this music out into the world, so I'm excited to announce the Atlanta celebration of this release will take place at Churchill Grounds on April 7th and 8th!!! More information coming soon!! Stay tuned!!
12.21.10Phaeton Horns Endorsement!!
I'm excited to announce that I am now an officially endorsed artist for Phaeton horns!! 2010 has been a GREAT year, and now it ends with a bang!! The guys over at Phaeton have created a phenomenal trumpet with all of the trimmings, and have made it available at a price that's even more unbelievable than the instrument itself. Now i have the opportunity to help spread the word about these wonderful horns. So any of you trumpet players out there looking for a great new horn, check out these trumpets and flugelhorns at: www.pjlamusic.com Good times in 2010, and the good news and opportunities seem to keep rolling in. So look out for more exciting developments in 2011!!
08.07.10My Solo Album coming soon!!
I'm excited to announce that I will be going into the studio to record my first solo album (after six years of delays) under the Turnaround Records label due for an official release during the Spring of 2011!!
I have always believed in "ordered steps" and in the idea that everything happens when it is supposed to happen. Though I have recorded significantly with so many other artists and musical genres, I feel that my recording project was delayed so that I could broaden my musical experiences. While teaching at Morehouse College, I believe I learned more from my students than I could ever teach them. Combining those lessons with the abundance of real-world, performance experiences, I feel as though my voice has literally transformed to express something which is musically, more meaningful than it would ever have been. Those experiences have afforded me the opportunity to perform with and to befriend so many fantastic artists, and I am humbled by the fact that some of those artists have agreed to record with me and help bring my musical ideas to life. I am expecting great things to come from this session, and I hope that you will all be able to come on this journey with me.
More details to follow soon!
05.21.10Back home for the Summer!!
The first leg of the tour with Tyler Perry was amazing and i got the opportunity to work with some amazing people!! The production sold out nearly every single show in major arenas across the country. The second leg of the tour is slated to resume during the fall, and it is expected to be just as exciting as the first. For now, I will enjoy the summer months mostly at home. However, the summer is not a complete break, as I am scheduled to perform in the Atlanta Jazz Festival with two acts, at the Friday Jazz Series at the High Museum with both my band and the Mace Hibbard Quintet, across the country with the "Simply Irresistible" Band, overseas with Johnny Gill, and to spend some time here and there instructing and giving masterclasses. Though I've stated many times before my unwavering belief in ordered steps, my life over the last few months has served more as an example of that belief than any words can express. More good times are on the way!!
12.17.09On Tour with Tyler Perry
I have just begun rehearsals with the Ronnie Garrett Orchestra for Tyler Perry's latest tour, "Madea's Big Happy Family!!" The play will mark the first time in 5 years that the Producer, Filmaker, Actor, Philanthropist will personally be on tour as Madea, so he's making this one a really big deal!! This is truly exciting, as I have never been on a tour this extensive before. Even better, I will have the opportunity to return to my hometown (it's been a loooooong time!) while on tour, as well as hit a couple cities where my family members reside. The production is slated to run from January 4 through May 2010. Hope to see you there. For more details on the tour and the cities in the run, either click on the link or log on to www.tylerperry.com. Good Times on the way!!
12.04.09Updates on My Life in 2010
So I haven't provided updates in a really long time, but my career and life have been extremely interesting and event-filled over the past year alone. So here are my most up to date tidbits.
I made my first major motion picture appearance in Tyler Perry's hit, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself." This was a great opportunity as we were able to perform both on and off screen. There are not many musicians who can make that particular claim! Also, I got the opportunity to get an inside look at the dealings of a major film production. This was an enlightening experience. However, I have to say the Tyler centered this particular film around the musical aspect, so we were treated like royalty on the set. Fantastic!
The movie was a result of my newly developed friendship and business association with Grammy Award Winning Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Bass PLayer, and just overall beautiful person Ronnie Garrett. He is a somewhat unsung hero in the industry, but the people that know what they "should know" are well aware of Ronnie's presence on the scene. Though he's performed for everyone from Miles Davis to Toni Braxton, he has maintained a level of humility unmatched by other artists in his calibre. Needless to say, whenever this brother calls i make it point to be available. One of the results of working with Ronnie (as sort of a face of Ronnie's projects) is the sensational "Simply Irresistable Band."
This band hit the corporate and party scene with a level of talent and skill that the rest of the industry was not ready for. Now the group has raised the bar for other bands in that circuit, with the one of the most impressive rosters of talent in the country. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about by logging on to www.simplyirresistibleband.net. You'll see exactly what I mean!
As well, my educational career has been going very well. The band program a Morehouse College has grown significantly over the past few years. This past marching band season saw an extreme combination of tragedy and triumph with the band emerging as one of the most notable forces in the HBCU Band world! I'm so proud to have been a part of it. Now, my career is taking a new direction as I step away from Morehouse College to focus on my performance career.
I have always been torn between the two worlds of performance and teaching. They are both such rewarding careers, and the balance between the two careers was practically impossible to find. However, I felt that I could no longer ignore the performance path and the doors which have been opened for me. I'm a firm believer in "Ordered Steps" and I feel that all I can do in the end is follow GOD's plan for me. Just as unexpected as my employment with Morehouse began, it had to end. (temporarily??..who's to say right now?) Maybe one day I will be "ordered" to return to the House. until that day comes around, I will do all that I can to make sure that i honor all those that made my success possible.