The Eric Jones Trio with Teddy Adams and saxophonist, DeAndre Lettsome
Eric Jones – Bio
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.
Teddy Adams Bio
Teddy Adams is presently teaching, lecturing and leading his own group. He also is on the Board of Directors for the Coastal Jazz Association, co-leads the Savannah Jazz Orchestra, and is one of the first inductees in the Savannah/ Coastal Jazz Association Hall of Fame.
Music major DeAndre Lettsome’s winning sound earns him a coveted spot in the acclaimed ‘Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead’ residency
Saxophonist DeAndre Lettsome is on his way to blowing right by his teacher, and Director of Jazz Studies John Ricci couldn’t be more thrilled.
Lettsome starts one of the world’s most venerated residencies for emerging jazz artists on Monday. The 22-year-old music performance senior is one of only 23 young musicians from across the world selected by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to take part in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, a career development program hailed for “discovering and presenting the next generation of jazz greats.”
“I’m incredibly thrilled for this great opportunity in an international residency, and it’s going to be a blast to pick their brains to see what they use to portray their music,” said Lettsome. “I’ve always had some doubts about my playing and composing, and over the past few years I’d auditioned for or taken part in competitions that didn’t turn out the way I wanted. I’d gotten discouraged a little bit.”
That’s where Ricci came in.
He insisted Lettsome submit a recording of himself performing a couple of his pieces to the Jazz Ahead residency. Having worked one-on-one with Lettsome helping him cultivate his abilities, Ricci had unfurled techniques for jazz composition based on his own previous works to aid Lettsome in fleshing out his own pieces.
“He has since far surpassed my expectations and has created his own personal style that connects complexity with melodic beauty consistent of top jazz artists today,” an elated Ricci said. “This also goes for his abilities as a jazz improviser. He’s blown past and above his own teacher, which is what any self-respecting performing arts instructor would hope for his or her students.”