With the musical world buzzing about Esperanza Spalding it’s no wonder that the timing is perfect for the release of yet another extraordinary female bassist, composer and vocalist.
Introducing Mimi Jones and her debut CD “A New Day” (Hot Tone Music) set for release on September 15th, 2009. Mimi Jones recently gave a sneak preview of her debut CD during the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the prestigious Kennedy Center along with performances featuring the world's top female jazz artists including: Anat Cohen and the Anzic Orchestra, Janis Siegel, Carmen Lundy, the Maria Schneider Orchestra and Esperanza Spalding.
Mimi’s inspiring debut recording,” A New Day” is bursting with original compositions seamlessly melting from one song to another and caressed by the warmth of her sultry voice. The music is a rich assortment of rhythmic statements, musical textures, and compositional variations all flawlessly executed by Mimi Jones (acoustic bass, electric bass, vocals, composer, arranger, and assistant producer), Marvin Sewell (acoustic and electric guitars), Miki Hayama (piano, key board and Wurlitzer), Marcus Gilmore (drums), Lucianna Padmore (drums on tracks 1 and 11) and Ambrose Akinmisure (trumpet).
The title of the CD speaks of embracing a changing world with a positive point of view while maintaining the courage to move forward just as the new persona and alter ego, Mimi Jones, was transformed from “side man” Miriam Sullivan in order to fully express her individual messages of change and personal evolution. Songs like “Fast Lane,” “Spiral,” “Watch Your Step” and “Mighty Time” send those messages by allowing the music to take shape without fear of definition and genre restriction. The concept is to cross borders and to reach out to a broader perception of time, space and rhythm.
Mimi’s philosophy is profound, yet simple, “It’s important to me that this music is for everyone. I believe that I have a calling to heal and make people feel good so I want to pass on what comes to me musically. Hopefully this music will make our world a little bit better.”
Miriam Sullivan (aka Mimi Jones) was born in New York City and raised in the Bronx by parents that descended from Barbados and St.Croix, which explains why Mimi has so many musical influences that flow easily through her compositional style. A graduate from Manhattan School of Music Conservatory she studied early on with world-class bassist, Lisle Atkinson and saxophonist Charles Davis at the Jazz Mobile Workshop. She also studied, attended workshops or mentored with Barry Harris, Ron Carter, Milt Hinton, Dr. Billy Taylor, Yusef Latif, Max Roach, and Latin bass techniques with Guillermo Edgehill.
Since then “side man” Miriam Sullivan (aka Mimi Jones) has gone on to share the stage with such talents as the great Lionel Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Rachel Z, Sean Jones, Kenny Barron, Jesse Davis, Ingrid Jenson, Kevin Mahogany, Denis Charles, Joshua Redman and Onaje Allan Gumbs just to name a few. She has even toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States.
In 2003, Miriam Sullivan co founded the group ”Jazz Sabroson” with drummer Antonio De Vivo and was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and Department of State to participate in the international program of cultural exchange performing in Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Barbados, Jamaica, Nevis and the Dominican Republic. The group was elected in 2006 by the Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center to participate in the Rhythm Abroad Program, this time traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. Later on Miriam returned to Mali with guitarist Steve Bloom, where the two diligently worked with Malian students of all ages, exploring the possibilities of musical expansion, and gladly partaking in the cultural exchange. Miriam explains that going into the motherland of Africa is always a heart-felt experience and continues to change her outlook on life. She constantly looks for new opportunities in which to aid her brothers and sisters abroad as well as at home with her own organization “The Girls Group” located in the South Bronx.
A recurring face since 2000 at the Kennedy Center’s annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival in Washington D.C. as Miriam Sullivan (playing in bands led by pianist Rachel Z and Joanne Brackeen), Mimi Jones brought her own project to the stage on May 14, 2009 premièring her debut release, “A New Day.” Mimi Jones has already appeared at the Kitano Hotel, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Puffin Foundation, and Sista’s Place. She was recently the featured artist on the cover of “No Treble Magazine”, the “Pick of the Year” for most creative artist by Dick Metcalf of “Improvijazzation Nation” and Chris Spector of “Midwest Record” said, “she’s got a lot on the ball and it seems like this is only the beginning.”