John "jonesy" Latini
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John "jonesy" Latini


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"John Latini-Dream Team"

John Latini

Dream team

John Latini prefaces each song with a story — who he wrote it with, where they were, etc. It's the same way American Indians introduce themselves, by identifying their clan. It keeps you connected, solidifies your bonds.

I saw Latini perform about five times before I was able to write about him — I was having way too much fun. But my favorite performance, I think, was at TC's Speakeasy in Ypsilanti, where he played as part of the Embassy Hotel Records music collective. The whole night went like this: Band A played. Everyone danced, partied, laughed, and sang. As band B was introduced, people jumped onto and off the stage, as audience member became guitarist and drummer switched to keyboards. Those folks swapped places more than square dancers.

Music success on this scale is about connectivity, community — knowing you belong. And Latini does: when he performs, the place fills quickly with friends, family, fans, and sleek, well-groomed music industry types who needle the band with cool taunts like "Too many notes!"

Latini does a mournful steel guitar, but he also plays electric and acoustic with knees bent and hips a-wagging. His music is full — symphonic, even. It moves easily from old-school street-corner doo-wop to calypso-tinged blues to sweet waltzes with rich background harmonies.

And as his buddy Eric Kelly says, Latini has the dream team lined up behind him. Brother Jim Latini handles the drums with obvious control — he's not one of those hyper drummers who hit too hard, and he manages the time stops and rhythm changes easily. And, as Eric says, Jim "sings like a bird. His harmonies make the show." Bassist John Sperendi doesn't simply create backbeat — he also adds harmonies, carefully filling in more quiet moments. He giggles a lot too. Kurt Wolak's performance on keyboards and accordion is flawless. John says Wolak has played piano since he was about four years old, so that makes sense. He's got real intense eyes, like a hawk — strong and brooding.

Shining most brightly from the stage is Latini's love for music making, his family, and his friends. His ballad "Yesterday I Painted Your Room" — written to his daughter who's gone away to college — won him the grand prize in the 2004 Metro Detroit Songwriting contest and first place in the singer-songwriter category at the Dallas Songwriters Association contest. It is so sad.

Whenever I see or talk to John, he always demands, "How are the boys?" meaning my own children. He really wants to know. I think I'll start introducing myself as "Charmie, writer of people's stories, daughter of Carl, and mother to Peter, Sam, and Gabriel."

The Flying Latini Brothers are featured at the "Dance for Earth" benefit at Downtown Home & Garden on Friday, April 21 (see Events listing), and some of his bandmates usually join Latini for his regular Friday night gig at the Tap Room Annex.

—Charmie Gholson

Photo by J. Adrian Wylie

[Review published April 2006]

- Arborweb Reviews

"John Latini"

"Award winning songwriter John Latini tells his stories with easy charm and humor. He is a passionate folk rocker whose emotional delivery is comparable to John Hiatt, John Prine and Tom Waits..."

SSRP Roots Archives - SSRP Roots Archives

"John Latini"

John Latini is an award winning singer/songwriter and a charming and witty entertainer. He's also a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, bass, and lap steel with amazing finesse for several bands including The Flying Latini Brothers and Jamie-Sue Seal & the Radiotown Flyers. - SSRP Archives


Lake Of My Dreams, John Latini solo

D-E-A-R S-A-N-T-A, John Latini Christmas CD

Get Down, Flying Latini Brothers

Other Lives, Crowbar Hotel



John "jonesy" Latini is an award winning songwriter who resides in the eastern Michigan area. Born and raised in New York, he grew up playing music with his family. His singer/songwriter album, Lake Of My Dreams, contains the song "Yesterday I Painted Your Room" which garnered him the first place prize in the Metro Detroit Songwriting Contest. Jonesy also placed in the finals of The Hank Williams Songwriting Competition in North Carolina. You can see him perform with all his wit and charm on his own or with bands including Jamie-Sue Seal & the Radiotown Flyers, Hoodang, and his very own Flying Latini Brothers. He is a popular and frequent guest on the Jammin' Round With Jamie-Sue radio show as well as hosting his own songwriters series in Ypsilanti Michigan every Friday night at The Tap Room Annex.
John has written and performed for over 25 years and has shared stages with the likes of Blues Traveler, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Eleven of his tunes can be heard on Crowbar Hotel's 2001 Lovongo Records release "other lives", with ten more expected on his soon to be released solo effort "The Carnival". As well, Latini's talent as a sideman has garnered him credits on Jason Ringenberg's new CD 'Empire Builders', Dave Boutette's 'Old Dog Songbook' and the self titled album by Uses For Wood, to name a few. Whether it's the dynamic front man with the soulful pipes and the gut wrenching delivery that you know, or the emotionally evocative lyricist, or, for that matter, the versatile instrumentalist, a talent by any other name is still a talent!