Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and activist Sean Jones. He sang and performed as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, and 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. In 2015, Jones was tapped to become a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. During this time, he has managed to keep a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership, forming the foundation for groups that have produced and released eight recordings on Mack Avenue Records. His most recent is the 2017 disc "Sean Jones: Live from Jazz at the Bistro."
Jones has been prominently featured in recordings and performances with many major 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 also has performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown symphony orchestras, as well as Soulful Symphony in Baltimore and a chamber group at the Salt Bay Chamberfest.
An internationally recognized educator, Jones is president of the Jazz Education Network and holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. He also is artistic director for the NYO JAZZ Program of Carnegie Hall. Previously, he served as chair of the brass department at Berklee College of Music in Boston.