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OLIVER JONES (pianist)

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Full Name:  Oliver Theophilus Jones OC,QC

Description:  Musician, Composer, Arranger, Educator

Instruments: Pianist, organist, composer and arranger.

Music Styles:

Date Born:  born September 11, 1934

Little Burgundy, Montreal, Quebec

Date Died:

CONTACT DETAILS
Web Site:  All About Jazz: review, Just in Time Other Links: See below:

YOUTUBE VIDEO

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Oliver Theophilus Jones OC,CQ (born September 11, 1934 in Little Burgundy, Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian jazz pianist, organist, composer and arranger.

Oliver Jones began his career as a pianist at the age of five, studying with Mme Bonner in Little Burgundy’s Union United Church, made famous by Trevor W. Payne’s Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. He continued to develop his talent through his studies with Oscar Peterson’s sister Daisy Peterson Sweeney starting at eight years old. In addition to performing at Union United Church when he was a child, he also performed a solo novelty act at the Cafe St. Michel as well as other clubs and theaters in the Montreal area. “I had a trick piano act, dancing, doing the splits, playing from underneath the piano, or with a sheet over the keys.”

He started his early touring in Vermont and Quebec with a band called Bandwagon, and in 1953 – 1963 played mainly in the Montreal area, with tours in Quebec.

From 1964-80 Jones was music director for the Jamaican calypso singer Kenny Hamilton, based out of Puerto Rico.

In late 1980 he teamed up with Montreal’s Charlie Biddle, working in and around local clubs and hotel lounges in Montreal. Jones was resident pianist at Charlie Biddle’s jazz club Biddles from 1981 to 1986. His first album, Live at Biddles recorded in 1983, was the first record on the Justin Time record label.

By the mid-1980s he was travelling throughout Canada, appearing at festivals, concerts and clubs, either as a solo artist or with a trio: Skip Bey, Bernard Primeau, and Archie Alleyne. His travels also took him to Europe during this period.

His tour of Nigeria was the subject of a 1990 National Film Board of Canada documentary, Oliver Jones in Africa. His music also appears in the NFB animated short film, Black Soul. In 2011 he was one of the big names on the line up of the P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival at Charlottetown. Jones was headliner for the Jazz Sudbury Festival 2013, held from Sept. 6-8, 2013.

Educator

He taught music at Laurentian University in 1987, and in 1988 he taught music at McGill University in Montreal

In 2009, Jones mentored jazz artist Dione Taylor through the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) Mentorship Program. The program pairs a mid-career artist with a past GGPAA recipient. The two artists work together to learn and grow from each other’s experiences.

Discography

Live at Biddle’s Jazz & Ribs 1983
The Many Moods of Oliver Jones 1984
Lights of Burgundy 1985
FIJM 1985
Speak Low, Swing Hard 1985
Requestfully Yours 1985
Cookin’ at Sweet Basil 1987
Just Friends 1989
Northern Summit 1990
A Class Act 1991
Just 88 1993
Yuletide Swing 1994
From Lush to Lively 1995
Have Fingers Will Travel 1997
Just In Time 1998
Then And Now 2002
Just You,Just Me 2004
One More Time 2006
Second Time Around 2008
Pleased to Meet You 2009
A Celebration In Time 2010
Live In Baden Switzerland 2011
Just For My Lady 2013

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