Thursday, January 25, 2024

Eugenie Jones | "The Originals"

Eugenie Jones was not supposed to be a jazz singer. She graduated with an MBA in marketing, and her post-graduate career took her deep within the nonprofit sector as a marketing communications executive. Her mother, a soprano gospel singer, was the singer of the family, and when cancer claimed her life, Jones managed her grief by setting out to see if she could carry forward that part of her Mom's life.

Ten years later, the now acclaimed jazz vocalist and songwriter with a heartwarming backstory celebrates her first decade in the jazz spotlight with The Originals, a greatest hits collection of songs from her prior albums, all from her own pen and all released on her own music label, Open Mic Records.

A harmonious journey through Jones's musical evolution, The Originals showcases a genuinely creative force whose voice continues to captivate audiences. With 27 recorded original songs to her credit, Jones has repeatedly proven her ability to blend emotive storytelling with alluring melodies, creating a compelling and entrancing sound.

As a remixed, remastered, best-of compendium, The Originals continues the artist's evolution with a meticulously curated anthology that breathes new life into her most-played, most-beloved tracks, including "Sweet Summer Love," "Swing Me," and "Sittin' at the Bar." With a worldwide release campaign set to launch on January 19, 2024, The Originals reminds current fans of the musical journey thus far while introducing new audiences to Jones's smoke-satin vocal stylings and her clever, hip, and romantic lyricism.

As National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Reggie Workman says, "This is an extraordinary singer, songwriter, and a source of a light we are fortunate to experience."

Jones's professional musical journey began with her debut album, "Black Lace Blue Tears," in 2013, followed two years later by "Come Out Swingin'." Her 2022 album, "Players," pays tribute to her bold, collaborative spirit in taking on the enormous challenge of recording in each region of the United States with four different bands comprised of 32 illustrious musicians, including Reggie Workman, Bernard Purdie, Julian Priester, Lonnie Plaxico, Bobbie Sanabria, Lynn Seaton, Bill Anschell, Marquis Hill and many others.

"At the start of my career, I had no formal training or industry know-how; only my mother's musical intuition, my father's grit, and a newly discovered voice," explains Jones. "The Originals is a milestone that represents how much I've been fortunate to grow these last ten years."

Having established herself in the international jazz scene, Jones has consistently pushed the boundaries of her artistic expression. Her latest album, The Originals, reflects a unique style and sound, which Jones has persistently honed and nurtured since her first live performance in 2011. That progression has led to recognition as a Recording of the Year and Vocalist of the Year award recipient. Her recordings have also brought her international attention and commercial success, climbing to #7 on the Jazz Week Top 50 charts, #30 on Jazz Week's Top 100 Albums in 2022, and making it to the first round of the 2022 Grammys® in the Best Vocal Jazz Album category. 

"This is an excellent singer with a voice, style, and range encompassing multiple idioms. I predict she will become the next singing sensation in all of music," – Joe Chambers, legendary jazz drummer and band leader. 

Born and raised in Fairmont, West Virginia, surrounded by seven siblings, the singer grew up in a musical household. Her father, Eugene Parker, a coal miner, led the choir at the family's church, where her mother, Tommie Lee Parker, was the lead soprano. Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, and Motown records kept the family turntable spinning, especially during large family gatherings. Beyond jazz, rhythm and blues records, Eugenie grew up with her mother's voice as a continual backdrop around the house.

"I have memories of doing my homework at the kitchen table while my mom hummed and sang as she cooked. Occasionally, I'd look up and say,' That's pretty; what song is that? And she would reply - oh, just something I made up.' So, while I never imagined growing up to be a singer and songwriter, I do know where my gift came from."

After earning her BA and MBA in marketing from the National University in San Diego, Jones married and began pursuing a marketing career and raising two sons. When her mother passed away in 2008, to assuage her grief, Jones decided to keep her mother's spirit alive by taking up singing. For the next three years, she woodshedded and worked her way up in the Seattle jazz scene. With tremendous talent and tireless energy, she has etched out her space onto the international stage with her recordings playing around the world.

Throughout her music career, Jones has also been active in community affairs. She is the founding board president of a nonprofit organization called the Music Discovery Center, which provides musical instruments and instruction to underprivileged youth. She has also spearheaded the Ernestine Anderson Tribute Series and, for five years, served as the executive director of the Jackson Street Jazz Walk, both of which aim to educate residents about Seattle's rich African American music legacy, promote jazz, and raise funds for various nonprofit organizations such as food banks, youth organizations, and community medical clinics.

The Jazz Journalist Association, recognizing Jones's efforts to combine jazz with community service, awarded Jones and 33 other national recipients the Jazz Hero Award, an annual honor given to those whose efforts have significantly impacted their local communities.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...