"Simply one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen." Americana Gazette
"One big bodily flow of stops and starts, while flawlessly keeping the rhythm. Truly fascinating to see." WoNo Magazine
"Even when she's only playing a soft shuffle with her brushes, she moves her body like she's trying to keep the lights on." Slate Magazine
"Kinetically-charged . . . intensely focused on every percussive stroke . . . JJ Jones' delightfully fastidious drumming [is] the secret ingredient." WhisperinandHollerin.com
Sensitive and musical, dynamic and fluid, JJ often seems to be dancing on the drum set. Her constant comment from fans is: "I love to watch you play." The Americana Gazette says: "JJ mesmerized us that night as she flew deftly across the spectrum of bass, snare and cymbals with impeccable skill. She’s simply one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen, one of the few who uses every percussive surface to maximum advantage."
JJ joined her first band while attending high school at the Seattle Academy of Arts. After graduating college with a neuroscience degree, her long-standing love of acoustic music eventually lead her to play with singer/songwriters and it was then that she started to be known for her signature style. JJ has accompanied countless folk, Americana, and acoustic artists, been the drummer on over fifteen studio recordings, and acted as "house drummer" at both the National Women's Music Festival and the Red Rock Women's Festival, playing with six different acts at both events. She's been an instructor at the Rocky Mountain Song School for seven years functioning as the house drummer, and spent a year touring with the Canadian roots band Po' Girl (now Birds of Chicago), traveling extensively through the US, Canada, UK, and Netherlands.
In 2010, she joined folk-pop band Girlyman and found true love. Girlyman had an international career and legions of "Girlyfans" who often traveled hundreds of miles to see the band. After touring with folk icons Indigo Girls and Dar Williams, and being signed to Indigo Girl Amy Ray's record label, they regularly sold out 400-seat venues in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington DC, in addition to playing many renowned folk festivals. When JJ joined the group, Girlyman told their fans: "JJ is an old friend and a fantastic drummer. When we finally got to play with her, something just clicked. Our sound got bigger and and closer to what we had all imagined it to be for years."
When Girlyman disbanded, JJ and two other members, Nate Borofsky and Doris Muramatsu, started a kids' music project called Django Jones. Their debut album, D is for Django, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim, receiving rave reviews from New York Parenting Magazine, Celebrity Parenting Magazine, and the Midwest Book Review, among many others, as well as winning a Parents' Choice Gold Award, one of the most prestigious awards in children's music.
JJ graduated in 2015 from Berklee College of Music's online performance program as a drum specialist. She says, "In over 30 years of playing drums, I had never taken lessons or studied with a teacher. It was a whole piece I'd been missing as a musician, and I wanted to step-up my dedication to the instrument. I loved Berklee's program."
Most recently, JJ toured with Laney Jones, who Rolling Stone just called one of the “10 new country artists you need to know”, and a song JJ co-wrote with Doris and Nate was featured in Margaret Cho's Showtime concert movie “psyCHO", which aired in September 2015.
In addition to touring and recording, JJ gives private Skype drum lessons to students all over the country, and volunteers at girls and ladies rock camps across the US, teaching drums, coaching bands, and facilitating workshops. She says, "At rock camp all of my musical, technical, performing, and writing skills are utilized. In truth, girls and ladies rock camps are just empowerment camps in disguise, and to me there's nothing more rewarding than empowering someone."
In four years of touring with Girlyman and Po'Girl, JJ played over 350 shows in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 60 shows in the U.K. and Europe, performing at music festivals, opera houses, theaters, performing arts centers, listening rooms, colleges, and house concerts. (Click here to see a list of performances with Girlyman.)
JJ (with Girlyman) SOLD OUT the following venues:
- City Winery (NYC)
- Barns at Wolf Trap (Washington D.C.)
- Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago, IL)
- Freight and Salvage (Berkeley, CA)
- Iron Horse Music Hall (Northhampton, MA)
- Joe's Pub (NYC)
- Evanston SPACE (Evanston, IL)
- Club Passim (Cambridge, MA)
- Triple Door (Seattle, WA)
- The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI)
- Eddie's Attic (Atlanta, GA)
JJ has performed at the following festivals:
- Rocky Mountain Folks Fest
- Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
- Kerrville Folk Festival
- Montreal Jazz Festival
- Kate Wolf Memorial Festival
- Strawberry Music Festival
- Live Oak Music Festival
- Festival For The Eno
- Vinegrass Music Festival
- Vancouver Island MusicFest (Canada)
- Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Canada)
- Rhythm and Blues Fest (Netherlands)
- Wood Festival (U.K.)
JJ has played official showcases at the following:
- Folk Alliance International
- AMA Americana Music Conference in Nashville, TN
- NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) National Convention
- APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) Conference
- FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West)
- Po' Girl
- Laney Jones
- Coyote Grace
- Edie Carey
- Lucy Wainwright Roche
- Amy Speace
- Tom Wasinger (3-time Grammy winning producer)
- Beverly "Guitar" Watkins
- Driftwood Fire
- Tret Fure
- Beth Wood
- Kelly Brightwell
- Vance Gilbert
- Emily White
- Martine Locke
- AG (Adrianne Gonzales)
- Somethin' About Lulu
- Patrice Pike
- Melissa Ferrick
- Margaret Cho
- and many more
In addition to kits in the U.S., JJ keeps a drum set in the U.K. as well. She also has her own drum mics and active stage monitor (see the Gear page for details).
JJ plays Gretsch drums.