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"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

 

JJ combines a classic-rock background with singer/songwriter, indie, and Americana music. Sensitive and musical, dynamic and fluid, she plays to the emotion of the vocals as much as the bass or rhythm guitar. She 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 this about JJ: "She 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 at age 15 while attending a private high school for the arts in Seattle. After graduating from college with a neuroscience degree, and playing in classic, funk and alt-rock projects, her long-standing love of acoustic music lead her to play drums for singer/songwriters and it was then that she started to be known for her signature style. JJ played with numerous folk, Americana, and acoustic acts (see below), recorded for studio sessions (see the Discography page), and acted as house drummer at both the National Women's Music Festival and the Red Rock Women's Festival, playing with six different artists at both events. She was an instructor at the Rocky Mountain Song School for six years functioning as house drummer, and spent a year touring with Canadian roots band Po' Girl, traveling extensively through the US, Canada, UK, and Netherlands.

In 2010, she joined folk-pop band Girlyman and fell in 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, and played renowned folk festivals such as Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Winnepeg, and the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest. When JJ joined the band, 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."

Girlyman disbanded in 2013 and JJ and two other members of the group, Nate Borofsky and Doris Muramatsu, started a kids' music project called Django Jones, recording their debut album, D is for Django. JJ says, "It's so inspiring play children's music. The sillier and more fun, the better! I had an absolute blast working on this record with Nate and Doris. So far, the response from kids and parents has been amazing." The album was released in April, 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 the Parents' Choice GOLD Award, one of the most prestigious awards in children's music.

Currently, JJ is enrolled in Berklee College of Music's online Drum Specialist certificate program. She says, "In over 30 years of playing drums, I had never taken lessons or studied with a teacher. It was a whole piece of the pie I'd been missing as a musician, and was time to step-up my dedication to the instrument and make the commitment to learn as much as I can. I'm loving it." She also volunteers at ladies and girls rock camps across the country, teaching drums and coaching bands. JJ says, "Instructing at girls rock camps, like performing live, is something I feel like I was born to do. All of my musical, technical, performing, and writing skills are utilized. In essence, they are empowerment camps disguised as rock camps, and what could be more meaningful than empowering someone? If a 13 year-old can know that it's ok to be exactly who she is, and a 40 year-old can experience a supportive community who helps her discover her hidden talents, what could be more important, or more rewarding, than that?"

 

THE STATS:

From 2009 through 2012, JJ played over 350 shows in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 60 shows in the U.K. and Europe. She has performed at music festivalsopera houses, theaters, performing arts centers, colleges, listening rooms, and house concerts. (Click here to see a list of performances since 2010.) 

 

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
  • Kate Wolf Memorial Festival
  • Strawberry Music Festival
  • Live Oak Music Festival
  • Festival For The Eno
  • Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada)
  • 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
  • NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) National Convention
  • APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) Conference
  • FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West)

 

JJ has performed with the following artists:

 

 

In addition to drum kits in the US, JJ keeps a kit in the UK as well. She also has her own drum mics and active stage monitor (see the Gear page for details). 

 

JJ plays Gretsch drums and Latin Percussion.