Jonathan "JWhite" White
Gig Seeker Pro

Jonathan "JWhite" White

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | SELF

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | SELF
Band Jazz R&B




"Excursion Spotlight: Living Up to the Legacy"

For music enthusiasts, the name Porter is synonymous with excellence. So when one hears of Porter’s Jazz Café, thoughts of enlivened melodies and toe-tapping, improvisational rhythm come to mind.

Porter’s Jazz Café is located at 315 S. Main St., a 100-year old building that once housed the Gus Blass Department Store. Porter’s occupies 8,500 square feet of space, and since the doors opened Labor Day weekend, its owners have welcomed guests to dine in the restaurant and the lounge on the lower level while enjoying the smooth sounds of jazz and the pleasure of great conversations.

Marcell Dean, co-owner, Porter’s Jazz Café, said, “We wanted to be a part of this new energy, the revitalization. We have an ideal location — not far from the RiverMarket District — in an area that has great history. We want to be a part of the catalyst for the renewing of this part of Main Street.” He noted the recent remodel of The Rep. “There are great things going on here.”

Porter’s upper level is awash in natural light as windows stretch across its opening. The hostess station, just inside the door, sits adjacent to one of the jewels of the restaurant, Lena’s Corner, an

area boasting banquet seating and an elegant chandelier, the “Rocco Chandelier,” that once belonged to the legendary songstress/actress Lena Horne.

The dining area offers booth, table and bar seating. Several of the tables surround an opening that allows those on the upper level to view the band below.

“When we started this project, the building was in disrepair. We had to gut it and start from scratch. The alcove, looking down into the lounge, was inspired by an actual hole that was in the floor; when we got down to the bare bones of the building, its potential was clear. It was easy to see how beautiful it once was,” Dean said. So they retained many of the original archways and brick walls.

Of course, the food and the music are what draw patrons inside. Porter’s restaurant serves what manager Nicholas Guy calls “upscale American cuisine with a New Orleans twist.”

“Our entrees feature fresh ingredients, and as often as possible locally-grown produce. We often purchase from Carpenter’s Produce in the RiverMarket Farmers’ Market. Our chef Greg Loyd is adamant about using the best.”“Most jazz-themed restaurants feature New Orleans–style foods; after all, it’s the birthplace of this type of music,” Guy said. For the first month or so after opening, Porter’s served a limited menu; the full menu is now available.

We tried the house specialties: Porter’s chicken wings, which were nested on a bed of fresh greens with a sprinkling of scallions. The wings were crisp — unexpected as they were bathed in a sauce — and savory with just a bit of sweetness. We alsothoroughly enjoyed their chicken and waffles and blackened tilapia. The former isn’t a dish that moves mountains — however, I’ve been served a mediocre version and this was a far cry from it. The buttermilk, Belgian-style waffle is topped with a buttermilk-battered boneless chicken thigh and served with a fresh fruit compote.

Our compote was made from peaches; however, Guy said patrons might also enjoy strawberry, pear or apple toppings, depending upon the season. The chicken and waffle were both delicious and the peaches prepared to the perfect consistency, their flavor a good contrast for the seasoning of the chicken. We were most pleased with the tilapia dish; the fish was pan roasted and served atop grit cakes (literally cakes fashioned of grits — very southern) and accented with a cilantro lime aioli. The menu promised a seasonal vegetable as an accompaniment. We were delighted to be served nicely-seasoned, sautéed okra.

To satisfy the sweet tooth, diners should partake of Porter’s beignets … they were ambrosial, served with a strawberry coulis and powdered sugar. Other desserts offered include Coca Cola cake and crème brulee.

In the interest of our readers, we must admit two things: the beignets are usually offered during Porter’s Sunday brunch, during which they also offer freshly-made omelets, various meats, fruits and

pastries, as well as herb roasted chicken, greens, mac-n-cheese and more; and two, we simply had to return to Porter’s lounge to enjoy some live music and a few Portinis, the café’s signature drink.

Porter’s serves up live music seven nights a week. The house band consists of a pianist, drummer, guitarist and bassist, who woo patrons with toe-tapping, finger-snapping, head-bopping tunes. Occasionally a lead vocalist steps in to accompany. Monday night is Amateur night; Tuesday, local artists are featured; Wednesday nights are deemed “Sounds of the City,” an open mic session for musicians and singers; Thursday, Friday and Saturday are reserved for the house band — which, by the way, is fantastic — or special guests.

Porter’s Jazz Café offers a VIP section, seating at the lower bar and at Porter’s Porch during the evenings; the space is available for birthday parties and other celebrations. - Angela E. Thomas: About You Magazine

"JWhite’s ‘A New Jazz Swagger-Reloaded’ offers unique smooth jazz"

Saxophonist, composer and producer JWhite introduces his newest collection, ‘A New Jazz Swagger- Reloaded.’ JWhite offers a unique approach to smooth jazz by infusing a strong even blend of jazz, R&B and appropriately dispersed vocals. The music offered by JWhite is infectiously upbeat yet subtle in its delivery. ‘A New Jazz Swagger- Reloaded’ is not the typical smooth jazz cookie cutter format some rely upon to release and pass off as new smooth jazz music. This collection meticulously constructs and creates songs unique and distinctive and the result is clear. JWhite explains his unique approach to his new music by saying, “Jazz is the highest level of musical expression. It is improvisation, its melody, its harmony.” JWhite continues by saying, “The groove is the most important aspect.” JWhite is able to express a myriad of emotions from love to pain through his music in this collection. The intent of JWhite is to get his listening audience to feel what he is feeling from any particular song.

Enjoy the music from JWhite’s newest collection, ‘A New Jazz Swagger- Reloaded’ on great radio stations such as NewporterJazz. Watch and enjoy JWhite’s music video and capture the insight and message JWhite is attempting to capture through his music.
JWhite "A New Jazz Swagger -Reloaded.
Video: JWhite

‘A New Jazz Swagger- Reloaded’ by JWhite exemplifies the definition of what is great smooth jazz music. This collection will make an intelligent addition to anyone’s library collection that includes various genres of music. - Robert Cunningham:

"JWhite Is Going Places"

JWhite's debut CD “Melodies for My Heart,” released at a Sept. 8 party featuring 220 Live and Tawanna Campbell at the Legions Club in Little Rock, showcases his up-tempo, smooth jazz and R&B sound.

The Detroit native has been playing for 15 years, studying with the late Emil Acitelli and performing with the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble in his youth. Upon graduation from Thurston High School, he was presented the prestigious Louis Armstrong Award. Shortly thereafter, JWhite was offered a music scholarship at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

While at UAPB, he performed with the Marching Band and Wind Symphony and toured with the Jazz Ensemble under the direction of the late Odie Burrus. He also became a regular at local jazz clubs and other venues with the Too Hot N' Demand Band. He graduated in 2004 with a degree in music.

JWhite has an amazing saxophone sound that can hang with renowned jazz cats like Najee, David Sandborn, Kirk Whalum, Walter Beasley, Boney James and the late Grover Washington Jr. This cat's CD definitely shows that he has nothing but class with his music.

His mastery of the saxophone will alternately mellow listeners out and compel them to get up on their feet and jam to the music. CD highlights include “Motown Funk,” on which JWhite salutes the Motown sound with a remarkable alto and soprano sax combination, and “Relaxation,” sure to soothe a listener's mind, body and soul with Josh Jackson's acoustic guitar and Rod Cole's amazing background vocals.

JWhite does a notable job on Freddie Jackson's “Jam Tonight,” as does vocalist Keia Johnson. A memorable cover of Chaka Khan's “Through the Fire” features the sultry vocals of Johnson, followed by JWhite on sax. On Benny Golson's song “Killer Joe,” the saxophonist shows his jazz side, while “Mr. Magic Jr.” is a magnificent tribute to the late Washington.

JWhite is going places. - Arkansas Times


Melodies From My Heart ?
?Released August 7, 2007

?1. Motown Funk 3:16?
2. I Like It 3:39
?3. Relaxation 4:47
?4. What Kind of Man 5:37
?5. Don't Change 5:13
6. Lounging 6:14
?7. Jam Tonight 4:50
?8. Through the Fire 4:22
9. Killa Joe 3:38
10. Mr. Magic Jr. 4:18
11. Magic Jam (Reprise) 2:28

A New Jazz Swagger (Promo)
?Released 2011

?1. Girls Around the World ?
2. You Make Me Smile
?3. Today & Forever
?4. Listen Up
?5. Smooth Is In The Room

?A New Jazz Swagger RELOADED?
?Released June 12, 2012

1. Intro 1:28
2. A New Jazz Swagger 4:53
3. I Like It 4:37
4. You Make Me Smile 4:49
5. Smooth Is in the Room 5:33
6. Listen Up 5:12
7. For B 6:29
8. Today & Forever (Wedding Song) 5:03
9. Another Day Another Groove 3:51
10. Girls Around the World 5:14?
11. Motown Funk (Reloaded) 3:44?



A Detroit, Michigan native, Jonathan "JWhite" White is a young vibrant, versatile performer who bears the torch of musicianship from superstars:

John Coltrane and Kenny G. -daring, innovative, and fearless -they changed the jazz world forever and opened doors for a new generation of musicians.

And now JWhite is creating his own destiny, paving a path for new jazz musicians with all-around talent rarely seen in the entertainment world. In fact, JWhite has already shared the stage alongside many industry greats like Smokie Norful, Dave Hollister, Darryl Coley, gospel saxophonist Angella Christie, Eric Roberson, Liv Warfield, P.J. Morton and urban jazz saxophonist and flautist, Najee.

JWhite began to develop quickly in music, studying privately under the late Emil Acitelli. His efforts eventually lead to a music scholarship attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where J.White earned his Bachelors Degree in music and performed with the Marching Band, Wind Symphony, and toured with the Jazz Ensemble under the direction of the late Odie Burrus. A scholastically excelling student throughout his high school and college careers, JWhite pushed himself to new heights each day, setting goals and reaching them with uncanny and unseen regularity. Well-rounded doesnt begin to describe him: hes an overachiever, a workaholic, a perfectionist, a realist, and an enormously talented artist all rolled into one.

Musically, JWhite lists everyone from Gerald Albright, Cannonball Adderly, and Kirk Whalum to Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and Grover Washington, Jr. as major influences. His own style and presentation borrows from the Pastelle and Rosewood movement, the contemporary urban scene, and youthful expressions from around the globe. JWhites music is without a doubt soulfully-driven, and technically motivated intertwining the sounds of Smooth Jazz with a hint of Straight Ahead Jazz to deliver a sensual, harmonic, and melodic sound.

"I want my music to have identity and purpose and be felt by people from all walks of life. The freedom and life I feel when Im on stage or in a night club playing with my eyes closed, is the same feeling I want listeners to experience when they turn my records on. "

The newest Smooth Jazz sensations include You Make Me Smile which portrays beautiful vocals with a sweet sounding sax melody on top, as well as the new wedding song for years to come, Today & Forever. However, the single of the hit remake Girls Around the World is the biggest radio and internet BUZZ!

"I did a remake of Girls Around the World, by Lloyd, because Im a big fan of all kinds of music and when I first heard the bass line and groove to that song, I knew I wanted do my version."

JWhite is a songwriter, producer and musician who commands your attention with amazing, soulful sounds. Just listening to him for a first time, you sense his passion. He is a fearless, determined, talented young artist. With the release of his newest sampler CD entitled A New Jazz Swagger it will only be a matter of time before this dynamic young man becomes a household name.