b. Calvin James Jones, 27 September 1929, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 10 October 2004, Washington, DC, USA. Jones was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, graduating in 1953 from Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he played in the Tennessee State Collegians Jazz Orchestra. He served in the US Army, playing in bands and on completion of his military service in 1957 he settled in Washington, DC. He became noted for his musical skills, being an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing trombone, bass and piano. He played in the pit band at the city’s Howard Theatre, and occasionally deputised in the bands of Count Basie, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, and also sat in with visitors such as Muddy Waters. He was also with the Howard University Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
In his later years, Jones became prominent in music education and from the 70s was a teacher with the District of Columbia Public School system. Later, he became Professor of Music at the University of the District of Columbia where he was founder and director of UDC’s Jazz Studies Program from 1976. During his years at UDC, Jones led various ensembles, large and small, through which he displayed his gifts as a composer. Among the recordings Jones directed are several made by the UDC Jazz Ensemble and released through the university. (NB: Not to be confused with the blues artist of the same name.)