The Eric Jones Trio featuring Cynthia Utterbach
Cynthia Utterbach was born in New Jersey, moved to Los Angeles in the late seventies, and has been living in Europe since 1994. She arrived in Europe to perform in the musical production “The Buddy Holly Story” in Hamburg and has since performed throughout Europe as a jazz vocalist at festivals and clubs. Cynthia cites as her main inspiration Sarah Vaughan, and certainly she has a comparable warm sonority in the low register. Another influence was the highly distinctive Morgana King, who sang with a remarkable range, great tenderness, elegance and grace, excellent diction, and a strong sense of the dramatic. Mother was a church choir organist and pianist and had an extraordinary voice. She was teaching her daughter in the beginning, who also became a music major in school. She learned theory and sight-reading, and planned originally to become a classical singer, but when she started scatting to Madame Butterfly, the professor thought that maybe she should pursue another career. Cynthia grew up listening to the Supremes and other girl groups, so when I started as a singer, it was mostly Top Forty music. Then in the early eighties, she decided to change over to Jazz.
Eric Jones was born in Moultrie, Georgia, and started to play piano by ear at the age of five. At 11, Eric began studying trumpet. At 16 he started formal lessons on piano and within two years, he was awarded a piano scholarship to Andrew College. Eric went on to pursue his education at Armstrong Atlantic State University, studying under Dr. Kevin Hampton, graduating with a B.A. in Piano. In addition to teaching private lessons, composing and arranging, he completed his Masters in Composition from Georgia Southern University, where he studied under Dr. Martin Gendelman. Eric has worked with many prominent artists including Grammy Awardwinning Esperanza Spalding, Stewart Copland of the Police and Keith Miller of the Metropolitan Opera. In 2011 Eric premiered his latest work, “Songs of Creation,” which combines spiritual, jazz and African influences with the poem of James Weldon Johnson’s “The Creation.” Eric is the pianist with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra and performs with them annually at the Savannah Jazz Festival. Eric has also performed several times during Sunday concerts for Coastal Jazz Association. Currently Eric teaches at Savannah State University.