Jomama Jones has seen many extraordinary adventures since as a little girl she first looked up to the stars and made a wish. She took to the top of the charts in the early 1980s with such hits as "Ghetto In My Mind," "Afromatic," and "Electrify." Jomama's performances on Soul Train and Solid Gold, featuring her then backing singers, The Vignettes, are still remembered fondly. After leaving the US, Jones developed a worldwide following. In 2009, Jomama quietly returned to the US and began her dynamic collaboration with Bobby Halvorson. They've released the albums Lone Star and Radiate. Jomama's comeback theatrical performance, Radiate, at Soho Rep was a New York Times and Backstage Magazine critics' pick and she was featured in the New Yorker. Jones and Halvorson are at work on their third album and Jomama will tour the US in 2012. Visit: jomamajones.com!
Bobby Halvorson is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Northern California. He holds a BFA from UC Santa Barbara. Bobby has composed two musicals with librettist, David Murray, the most recent entitled, Bermuda, which featured Bryce Dallas Howard in a recent presentation in Los Angeles. He completed his MFA in Music Composition at CalArts in the Spring of 2010 and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Music at Cal Arts in their highly selective Doctoral Program. He is studying extended vocal technique and will continue composing for both film and theatre. Bobby is Musical Director and Producer of Jomama Jones’s recordings. Lone Star and Radiate are available for purchase in the lobby and also on iTunes and CDBaby.com
Helga Davis (Sweet Peach) is a New York based artist whose interdisciplinary work includes collaborations with composers and choreographers alike. In 2001, Wire Magazine's David Keenan described Helga as "a powerful vocalist with an almost operatic range and all the bruised sensuality of Jeanne Lee." For five years she was the co-star of The Temptation of St. Anthony, directed by Robert Wilson with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock. In 2007 Davis began hosting Overnight Music on WNYC and was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Multimedia Award for hosting "24:33: twenty-four hours and thirty-three minutes of the playful and playable John Cage." In 2008 Davis also starred in The Blue Planet, a multi-media theater piece written by Peter Greenaway and directed by Saskia Boddeke. She last appeared in VOX the Contemporary American Opera Lab run by the City Opera of New York and will continue to serve as host/commentator of WNYC's Battle of the Boroughs.
Sonja Perryman (Sweet Peach) is an actress based in Los Angeles who is equally at home in theatre, film, and television. Sonja's New York theatre work includes an extended run in Celia! the Musical and in several works at LaMama, Etc. including pieces by Theodora Skipitares. Sonja is featured in several national commercials and will be seen in the new feature film, 96 Minutes, to be released in 2011.
Ted Cruz (Keyboards) graduated from the University of North Texas in 1990. He has been active with both recording and performing with various jazz, rock, R&B, and classical music artists all over the world. His current jazz and improvisational musical exploits include recording and touring worldwide with the Alex Blake Quartet. His production and arranging work has been acclaimed by Billboard, Downbeat, Vibe, and Rolling Stone magazines. His various composition works includes a Meet The Composer grant for the improvisational score to Tetsuo The Iron Man which was performed at the Knitting Factory in New York. He also composed the music for the opening and closing ceremonies of the millennium celebration in Times Square, New York City. Mr. Cruz's recent forays into film and television music have his work featured on ESPN, NBC, MTV, and HBO television and film productions worldwide. He created original music for the television documentaries Creating Counterparts which was selected as the best documentary at the 2003 Kansas City Film Festival, Flag Wars for PBS television and the film Palo Alto. For audio and video, please go to: instantculturemusic.com
Brandon Lewis (Trumpet) is originally from the Midwest. Brandon moved to NYC a few years ago to continue his career as a musician, composer, recording artist, and bandleader. He has completed studies for a bachelor degree in music at the University of Northern Iowa and a master's degree in jazz at SUNY Purchase College. As of recent, you can find him playing with his group, The Brandon Lewis Trial, and also playing around the city with NYC-based funk band, Mokaad.
Michael O'Brien (Bass) holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota with a major in the Spanish language. He studied bass under Anthony Cox, and West African and Haitian percussion under Marc Anderson. He has been performing and composing internationally for over a decade with such notables as Harry Connick Jr., Ruben Blades, The Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Gene Pitney, Dave King, Matt Wilson, Ted Nash, Joshua Breakstone, Elliot Zigmund, Ron Afiff, Todd Reynolds, Wessel Anderson, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Viviana Pintado, Paul Bollenback, and Mary Ellen Childs. Michael has performed in festivals such as the Lincoln Center Festival, IAJE, PASIC, and American Composers Forums' Sonic Circuits Festival. His string quartet arrangement of Pine was performed at the Kennedy Center by the acclaimed string quartet Ethel. Michael has taught clinics and performed master classes throughout the United States and in Europe.
Sean Dixon (Drums) is originally from Milwaukee and has been a free-lance musician in New York City for 14 years. After brief stints at the Manhattan School of Music and The New School, he co-led his own band, The Chesterfields, for seven years while playing with local singer/songwriters, jazz, blues, pop, and R& B artists. His art has also been influenced by studies in Guinea, West Africa with master drummer M'Bemba Bangoura and in Bahia, Brazil with musician/Capoeirista Kiki da Bahia and Grupo Ginga. Mr. Dixon was the resident percussion teacher at The Lawrenceville School and The Pennington School from 2003 to 2005. Since the summer of 2005 he has continued his teaching and performing for children in NYC with Arts Connection, Appleseeds, Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band, and The Dirty Sock Funtime Band while maintaining a schedule with artists such as The Jazz Mandolin Project, Famoro Dioubate, Sekouba Bambino, Chubby Checker, The Source, Tarrah Reynolds, and Digg Deep.
Multi-disciplinary artist, Daniel Dodd Ellis (Friend of Jomama Jones), was born into a musically talented family that included two of the earliest African American opera singers, Jules Cobb Bledsoe and Roberta Dodd. Daniel studied Theater and Vocal Performance at Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University in Texas. Daniel's work led him to Germany, where he continued as a teacher, singer and songwriter. He performed in music festivals in Schleswig Holstein, Weimar, Leipzig, and Paris, and in roles spanning from Don Giovanni to baritone soloist in the Händel Messiah. His German theatrical roles include Mephisto in Faust, Wilhelm Davison in Maria Stuart, Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet, and Radbod in the critically acclaimed musical, Bonifatius. In 2007, he was chosen to perform the title role in Robert Wilson's touring blues/gospel opera, The Temptation of St. Anthony. Daniel has also sung with German music icons, Marius Müller-Westernhagen and Stefan Gwildis and has collaborated with diverse pop acts, such as Daniel Hall, Patrick Nuo, and on the Christian music project, Zeichen der Zeit. With his soul/funk flavored band, Daniel released his first album in 2008. His latest album is set for release in 2011.
Rhonda Ross (Friend of Jomama Jones) has enjoyed much success as an actress: starring in several movies and received an Emmy Award nomination for her tour-de-force role on NBC's Another World. She also took the world-stage by storm, performing her uniquely titled SongTelling concerts (an elegant blend of poetry and music) everywhere from Europe and Japan to New York's Blue Note and even Radio City Music Hall. Her own ROSS REALTY INTERNATIONAL is dedicated to helping people find the perfect home in NYC - "the right relationship makes a world of difference." rossrealtynyc.com
Chris Wells (Friend of Jomama Jones) is the Obie award-winning actor, writer, and singer specializing in making live performance and events. Plays include Liberty!, Olsen Terror, Swallow Me, and Sermons from The Secret City. In New York, Wells has appeared at The Ohio Theatre, LaMama, HERE, Dixon Place, Joe’s Pub, Fez, The Marquis, and The Starlight Lounge. Wells collaborates with Jeremy Bass to create new music, and appeared for four years with Are We Not Grown Ups in unorthodox settings in and around New York City. Wells was awarded the Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists, for excellence in service of the playwright. Wells’ latest inspiration is The Secret City, a monthly gathering for artists. Part salon, part cabaret, part art-church, The Secret City has been described as, “a variety show for the soul…” secretcity.org
Daniel Alexander Jones is Jomama Jones’s cousin. He received the Alpert Award in Theatre in 2006 for his body of work. His plays and performance pieces have been presented internationally. danielalexanderjones.com