Booker T. Jones; Monday, January 20

Booker T. Jones
Monday, January 20
Kuumbwa Jazz Center 

“… potently insistent gospel-soul…”  – The Los Angeles Times

Booker T. Jones stands tall in the American legacy of rhythm & blues as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. In the ’60s, his band, Booker T. & The MGs, a Top-40 staple with hit instrumentals, helped define the Stax label sound by serving as a backup group for a number of important soul singers, including the great Otis Redding. When the MGs went their separate ways, Jones went on to wear a multitude of hats: producing, composing, and continuing to lead his own groups. With the revival of interest in the Hammond B-3 sound, Booker carves out another chapter in his illustrious career. His latest CD, Sound The Alarm (featuring Gary Clark, Jr.) finds Jones at his most soulful.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Booker T. Jones was born in 1944. As a child, Jones was a bit of a prodigy, able to play the piano, oboe, trombone, and saxophone. His first contact with the organ was at his church where he played for Sunday services. By the age of sixteen, he was already a session musician, playing baritone sax on the Rufus and Carla Thomas hit, ‘Cause I Love You. About this time, he met the musicians that would become the future MGs: Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr., and later Donald “Duck” Dunn. Their instrumental, Green Onions, became a hit in 1962. Despite this early commercial success – he was only eighteen – Jones continued with his schooling. He led a dual life studying classical composition at Indiana University during the week and recording hit records in Memphis on the weekends. Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, and Albert King, were among the prominent musicians with whom he worked. It was Booker T. & the MGs who backed up Redding in his famous performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

In 1970, Booker T. split from Stax Records and relocated to California where he very quickly immersed himself in the music scene. He was soon playing on recordings with Stephen Stills, Ray Charles, and Neil Young; and producing albums for Rita Coolidge, Bill Withers, and Willie Nelson. Not surprisingly, by 1992, given his decades-long career in music, Jones was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1995, still recording with the MGs, Booker T. received his first Grammy Award: Best Pop Instrumental Performance for Cruisin’. More appreciation and awards were to follow with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007. Then, in 2010, he won another Grammy for Best Instrumental Album, Potato Hole, with the Drive By Truckers and Neil Young. Only two years later, he won his fourth Grammy, again in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, for The Road from Memphis, which included help from members of The Roots and guest vocals by Lou Reed and Sharon Jones of the Dap-Kings. And now, with his tenth and latest release, Sound The Alarm, Jones returns to his roots in a tour de force that features not only blues phenom Gary Clark, Jr., but his own son Ted Jones, as well. Don’t miss one of the legendary figures of American soul music, back sounding better than ever!

Booker T. Jones

DATE: Monday, January 20, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM
PRICE: $30/Adv $35/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227  

Media contact:
Olivia Jones

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