Eric Jones Trio with Gina Rene and Jaron McCarr
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 Award winning 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.
Gina Rene – Bio
There’s a little irreverence running around in the soul of Gina Rene who’s unafraid to bring it forth in her music. She’ll smooth you with her sweet melodic tones before waking you up with the truth in her words. She writes and sings her own songs, blending R&B and Pop melodies with the wit and lyricism of a true MC. One original of hers, U Must Be was featured in the 2006 film Step Up, released theatrically by Buena Vista Pictures, a part of the Walt Disney Company. Recently Yo-Yo, original female rapper and the sweetest DJ on LA’s first Hip Hop station, KDAY 93.5 FM, sponsored a contest called ‘Throw it up or Slow it up’. Gina’s song Cluck, Cluck won the audience over in 2 rounds. Yo-Yo offered Gina a non-compete slot to open up for KDAY 93.5 and Yo-Yo’s Best of the West contest of Hip-Hop artists. Gina is also a part of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a community that stands for Peace and Unity of all humanity. Agape is also where the world renowned spiritual Teacher; Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith resides as founder and leader. Beckwith was featured in the film The Secret and has also recently came into the studio and recorded some powerful words of wisdom on Gina Rene’s up and coming single “Be the Change”. This song of Gina’s reflects on what isn’t working only to then bring about a mentality of positive possibility that will inspire us to take even the simplest actions that will bring Great change in these times of war and Pain and extreme climate changes.
Gina Rene sees her music as a tool for her own personal growth, healing and self-discovery. She has had her share of ups and downs, living as an artist in urban America. She sees all of the violence and misunderstanding on the streets and around the globe and feels the need to speak up. Recognizing the influence Hip-Hop music has on youth the world over, Ms. Rene feels a great need for positive role models and she is especially concerned with the imbalance of the role women play in the music scene. Their negative portrayal perpetuates stereotypes that prevent people from seeing how truly powerful women are. Also, it’s not about dissing men either. It’s about understanding the strengths in our differences. Through honesty and taking back responsibility, Hip-Hop becomes the communication tool it was originally intended to be. This energy, of raw creative self expression and glorification of Unity in a diverse world, is what Gina Knows will bring forth global change. Gina speaks on this issue with class and grit, intending on inspiring the possibility of a better world, where all people can create what each of us wants while respecting one another in the process. Life is good. It’s time to Wake up to your dreams.
Jaron McCarr – Bio
A native of Savannah, GA, Jaron McCarr began studying music at an early age, starting on piano before switching to trombone in the 5thgrade. It was in high school as a member of the Savannah Arts Academy Skyelite Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Hutchinson that he developed a love and passion for music. Jaron would go on to obtain degrees in Jazz Studies from Valdosta State University (BM) and Northern Illinois University (MM). At NIU, he was named a Graduate Assistant where he not only taught classes and coached student combos, but also performed with the NIU Rosebud Jazztet all over the country, most notably at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York. Jaron has been fortunate to have performed with many local and national jazz acts including Teddy Adams, The Savannah Jazz Orchestra, Russell Gunn, David Gibson, Vincent Gardner, and The Chicago Jazz Orchestra to name a few.