Symphony. There are a myriad of things that one may envision when they contemplate the definition of a symphony. A symphony beyond the obvious speaks to an agreement and engagement of elements that by design could stand alone, nevertheless for a greater purpose organically will unite. At a glance, over the terrain of a symphonic landscape one may find a man, a musician, a composer, a producer, and educator. All of these components are irrevocably dynamic, isolated from each other, but imagine the kind of revolution that is composed when the man is the musician, composer, producer, and becomes an educator?
Meet Jamar Jones.
Jamar’s story begins as a child prodigy on piano. Following his mother’s intuition to enroll him in a class at the age of four, it was only a few short years before Jamar was not only composing original tunes, but performing them in recitals. Never one to rest on early laurels, he became an avid student of music, theory and technique while performing with the following: Philadelphia Academy Boys Choir; the Grammy All-American High School and Grammy Delaware Valley Regional High School Jazz bands; Philadelphia All-City Jazz Band and the Mellon Jazz Festival High School Band.
Jamar admits that his greatest lessons were acquired playing in the Pentecostal church. “It presented me with a critical vehicle to experiment with musical styles, plus develop a discipline for musicianship solely through playing by ear,” he said.
A graduate of Central High School of Philadelphia, Jamar remains close to his roots, having orchestrated a grant from the Connelly Foundation to build a new computer music lab, which provided tools for students to learn composition and arranging in a modern, technological setting.
As a jazz arrangement and composition major at Temple University in Philadelphia, Jamar began working professionally in the music industry. His first producer credit was “Dear God” for fellow Philadelphia natives Boyz II Men on their Grammy-nominated album, “Evolution” in 1997. To date, he has worked as producer, music director, songwriter, string arranger and session musician for a who’s who list of artists including: Jill Scott; Fantasia; Jamie Foxx; Kanyé West; Musiq Soulchild; Richard Smallwood; Mary Mary; the Philly Pops as well as the producer of the theme song, “So Amazing” for the Denzel Washington movie “The Hurricane,” featuring Boyz II Men and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
After continuing to be recognized as a skilled arranger and musician, Jones played in the rhythm section for the live performance of the 2018 Oscars and soundtrack for award-nominated film, “The Greatest Showman.” He is the 2018 recipient of an ASCAP award for Top Cable Television Series for The New Edition Story, on which he was the underscore composer.
Fans of Patti LaBelle’s critically-acclaimed, jazz album, “Bel Hommage,” (released in May 2017) have had the chance to sample Jamar’s brilliance of string and piano arrangements.
Having worked as producer, writer, arranger and music director for on a who’s who list of recording artists, Jamar is finally stepping into the spotlight with his solo project, Fatherless Child.