Joan Watson-Jones Jazz Ensemble
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Joan Watson-Jones Jazz Ensemble

New York, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

New York, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
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"Exerpts From Letters Received"

"Thank you for making my wedding so beautiful..You made our day a special one"

"Thank you for an excellent night of music and song"
Judy and Dana

"Thank you for making our evening more special by sharing your talent with our family and friends. We all had an amazing time!"
Aimee and Bill - Personal Letters

"Liner Notes for CD "I Thought About You""

Joan Watson-Jones describes herself as an expressive storyteller. She only sings songs that mean a lot to her and she gives each one her own fresh interpretation filled with sincere emotions and understanding.

Born in New York, she grew up around music and had extensive tap dancing and piano lessons.  "I taught school for years, first and second grade. Then after I earned a Masters in music education, I became a music teacher. I used to say that I did nine shows a day, going from room to room while giving private lessons. During that period I learned guitar and decided to return to my first love and work as a singer which is my third and longest career." Living in New Hampshire since she got married, Joan Watson-Jones has become an important part of the local jazz scene. During 1996-98 she hosted Joan's Jazz Jam, 30 half-hour television shows for Media One cable that are still being aired. She currently conducts a weekly half-hour radio show on the internet called The Jazz Room.

And most importantly, she sings regularly in a variety of settings. Following up on her previous recording One More Year, I Thought About You is a collection of ten of her favorite standards. "In players, I look for the sensitivity to be with a vocalist and for very good listeners." She has known pianist Frank Wilkins since 2001. "He gives everything he's got in every performance and is very sensitive to singers." Bassist Ron Mahdi and drummer Alvin Terry, regular members of Wilkins' trio, work very well with both the pianist and the singer. Jim Bridges gives Joan the type of guitar sound she wants, in the vein of George Van Eps and Bucky Pizzarelli. Tenor-saxophonist Fred Haas and trombonist Larry McClellan (a dean at Berklee) are strong assets during their appearances as is Mike Turk on harmonica. "When I heard that David Eure played jazz violin, I invited him to sit in with my group and I fell in love with his playing. I decided that he will be on every recording project I ever make."

The fun project begins with a high-energy version of "It's All Right With Me." "My Funny Valentine" is taken as a romantic waltz with a prominent spot for the violinist. "I Thought About You" is a bit reminiscent in its initial wistful mood of Shirley Horn before Haas takes a cooking tenor solo. "I have a love for Duke Ellington songs and 'I'm Beginning To See The Light' has a wink to it, not taking itself too seriously." "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" in particular means a lot to Joan because it was her solo with her college choir at a time then she met her future husband. The harmonica and guitar perfectly accompany her emotional vocal.

Fred Haas' soulful tenor is one of the highlights of "Since I Fell For You"; Joan sings the rarely heard verse. Joan captures the sadness of "Sophisticated Lady," showing empathy for its subject while she describes "Shiny Stockings," which gives several of the musicians opportunities to stretch out, as "absolute fun." "Come Rain Or Come Shine" has been a favorite of the singer since she used to listen to Pearl Bailey's version all the time when she was five, followed by Ray Charles' recording years later. The enjoyable program concludes with a joyful rendition of Ellington's "Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin'."

For the future, Joan Watson-Jones has plans to relocate to New York and to gain a higher profile performing the music she loves. "My goal is to continue to grow as a singer, to bare my soul and to be able to touch more people through my music."  She succeeds throughout
I Thought About You, a giant step forward for Joan Watson-Jones.

Scott Yanow,
Author of nine books including
Jazz On Film, Trumpet Kings
and Jazz On Record 1917-76 - Scott Yanow- Jazz Writer and Critic

"I Thought About You (Eye of Samantha)"

If, for whatever reason ,you're in search of Blossom Dearie's vocal doppelganger,you coud do a lot worse that Joan Watson-jones. That Watson-Jones sounds similar to the reedy, girlish Dearie is undeniable. The resemblance can sometines be downright eerie. And ,when Watson-Jones sticks to the the sort of peppy tunes that the jazz-savvy Blossom typically favors -here represented by delectable bonbons like "Shiny Stockings" and " Just a Sittin and A -Rockin"" she's nearly as delightful as Dearie to listen to...... - Jazz Times Magazine( May 2007issue)

"Joan Watson-Jones -One More Year"

You hear it at once : a voice of experience. Of fascinating lineage(her mother danced the Moulin Rouge in the 20's: her father was doctor to Billie Holiday), her voice has a high twinkle the rings of old showbiz . Her trio is tight , and a stream of guests add flavor as she commands a great batch of songs-including her own. It's a different voice, and those wanting pristine purity will need to look elsewhere. But do you want strong emotion> You've come to the right place.
the piano starts chiming , and a trumpet mutes its way-charming. More so is Joan: big vibrato, approaching trills on some words. She's also broadly dramatic, a style rarely heard these days. With her it works; an old movie voice needs some
effects . But mostly it fits, adding sly winks to classic lyric. And some less that classic : the words of "Caravan" are terribly weak, but forgotten with a sultry reading.
And listen to Fred Haas: he's a muezzin at the opening-like the voice that calls the faithful to prayer- then gives a tender moan on the verse and screams with passion on a firey solo. Delicious , sensual and richly exotic: You'll follow this "Caravan"
From desert clearing: "Willow Weep for Me" gets a high voice , close to a child's. It's deeply emotive: hear how she says "tears""weep" and " moan" . Hear also the violin: David Eure does his won weeping, gritty and strong. Not quite Stuff Smith , but I'm glad he's this close. if another singer did it like this, it would be pure melodrama. Joan's voice is a perfect match-likewise for a delirious"Blue Skies", punctuated by chirpy flute. Her her say "love" and you'll be there- I know I am!
Near the end is a change,three tunes by Joan and her accompanist, hakim Law. The melodies sing, with a touch of the old: the donwside is that they tend to sound alike. Joan;s lyrics are rather plan("pretty face" rhymes with " satin and lace") but all tell an evocative story. The notes say these are personal: you sure can tell. The best are " One More Year(constant love in later years) and 'He Gave His Word" (a love song about Jesus). These show her bold side: a strength behind the cuteness. A wonderful sendoff-but there's one more."Lover Come Back" goes rambunctious, an urgency placed on those wonderful words. Fred Haas has another good turn, whailing strong before Joan returns stronger. The album in a nutshell :a fragile voice doing powerful things. Some may find it too 'cute" but I find it well suited to standards and Joan more than meets the standard! - Green Mountain Jazz Messenger-by John Barrett Jr.

"One More Year- Joan Watson-Jones"

The smooth jazz voice of Joan Watson-Jones is an alluring burst of fresh air in this well exectuted album One More Year. She is an accomplished singer whose mother was a vaudeville dancer in the 1920's Moulin Rouge and whose father was a prominent physician with patiects that included the illustrious Billie Holiday and Mercer Ellington.
On her sophomore effort(her debut is entitled The Sound of Satin), Joan Watson-Jones performs well known jazz standards by the likes of Ellington, Mercer, Gershwin, Berlin, Whiting and Hammerstein that range from sultry to upbeat as well as three originals penned by the seasoned vocalist and er musical collaborator pianist hakim Law.
She is also well escorted by her band bassist Langston Smith and Gordon Grottonthaler , as well as guest musicians David Eure, Jay Daly, Sonny Stanton and Fred Haas.
When you sum it up , One More Year is a wonderful excursion for a gifted Joan-Watson-Jones "Bravo!"
- Metronome Magazine

"Joan Watson-Jones -One More Year"

Watson-Jones is a swinging singer who has a sultry way of expressing herself in the grand tradition of the Jazz Vocalist. She sings on (2@) with a piano trio of Law, Smith and Grottenthaler and invites other musicians to join the group on selected cuts. Watson-Jones can belt out a song with brash confidence, or she can lovingly portray a ballad. Her song selection is mostly from the popular standards list, but she is is also a composer, doing three of her songs as well . Watson-Jones typically sticks to the melody as written but she formulated in her vocals in an expressive way to fit the classification of Jazz Singer . She is very much in the tradition of the cabaret performers of the past who first defined this style.
The use of guest musicians to augment the trio works well. Violinist Eure contributes sensitive passages on two songs, saxophonist Rivers spices of two others , and each of the other guests join in on one tune each to add variety to the set. The band's approach is in the tried and true format of vocal accompaniment. the present a firm backdrop for Watson -Jones and take short solo spurts during the vocal breaks, building to a crescendo on most songs as Watson-Jones hits the high point. Watson-Jones does a fine job on the tunes , and her delivery is forthright: the program, however seem to be too entrenched in the historical Jazz vocal mode and does not present enough innovation to entice the senses.

- Cadence Magazine - November 2001


I Thought About You - Eye of Samantha Productions
Release - January 2007

One More Year



Taking inspiration from Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeve, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles, Joan Watson-Jones offers a style of singing that bring out the reflective and most joyful parts of her personality. She tells personal life stories through the music of the Great American Songbook. She also includes some of her own compositions.
You may have heard her latest CD "I Thought About You"on many Jazz Radio stations across the country.

You may also have seen her host "The JazzRoom Live" cable TV show that is aired on Boston Neighborhood Network Sundays 3PM Ch.23
Cambridge (MA)Community TV CH. 10 Tuesdays @10:30 and Fridays @11PM , Framingham MA Public Access TV Fridays @10AM ,1PM and 10PM, Derry NH Ch. 17 Thursdays @7PM , Citizens TV in Hamden CT. ,and Londonderry and Manchester NH at various times. Or, it could have been in person at the New Hampshire Inaugural Celebration of the Arts, a First Night Celebration or any number of jazz venues through out New England and in New York City.

You may also hear Joan host a weekly Jazz Radio program "The Jazz Room" on the Internet based radio station Each half hour show includes the music of Independent Artists and Legends of the past and present. There are guest interviews and, occasionally, guests performing a live jam in the studio. Log on to to listen to 2 half-hour programs at any time.

The Joan Watson-Jones Jazz Ensemble performs the music of The Great American Songbook. The group is available for Concerts, Corporate Functions, Weddings and Special Events. The group is available as a Duo Trio, Quartet or Quintet depending on the needs of the client.

e-mail - or call 1-800-544-2931
Also visit her website
Our support musicians are Berlkee College Alumni and/or Faculty

Band Members