Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist Sean Jones. Jones sang and performed as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. He switched from playing the drums to the trumpet at the age of 10.
Jones is a musical chameleon, comfortable in any musical setting no matter the role or genre. After a six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis offered him a permanent position as lead trumpeter of the ensemble, a post he held from 2004 until 2010. From 2015-2019, Jones was a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. During his career, he has released eight albums as a leader for Mack Avenue Records, including his most recent Sean Jones: Live from Jazz at the Bistro (2017).
Jones has been prominently featured in recordings and performances with many great figures in jazz, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson, and Marcus Miller. He was selected by Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter for their ‘A Tribute to Miles’ tour in 2011. He has also performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown symphony orchestras, as well as the Soulful Symphony in Baltimore and a chamber group at the Salt Bay Chamberfest.
Jones is an internationally recognized educator. He is president of the Jazz Education Network and artistic director of the NYO JAZZ program at Carnegie Hall. He holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute. Previously, he served as chair of the brass department at Berklee College of Music in Boston.