If it can be envisioned, it’s possible. If it’s musical, it’s Jamar Jones.
The words “impresario” and ”virtuoso” are not enough to appropriately describe this Philadelphia native, who has transformed his innate talents into that of a gifted pianist, composer, arranger, producer and modern technology visionary.
Having worked as producer, writer, arranger and music director for on a who’s who list of recording artists, Jamar is finally stepping into the spotlight with his solo project, Fatherless Child.
A skilled arranger, Jones played in the rhythm section for the live performance of the 2018 Oscars and soundtrack for award-nominated film, “The Greatest Showman.” He is the 2018 recipient of an ASCAP award for Top Cable Television Series for The New Edition Story, on which he was the underscore composer.
Fans of Patti LaBelle’s critically-acclaimed, jazz album, “Bel Hommage,” (released in May 2017) have had the chance to sample Jamar’s brilliance of string and piano arrangements.
Now slated as the follow-up release on LaBelle’s label imprint GPE Records, in addition to LaBelle (“Promise”), Fatherless Childfeatures guest vocals from award-winning artists Glenn Lewis (“Searching For Answers”) and Vivian Green (“Blackbird”) to name a few.
The 16-track project consists of an eclectic array of beautiful original compositions on this conceptual work of art that displays Jamar’s diverse musical talent from performance to arrangement and production on this debut release slated for July 13, 2018.
The debut album on GPE Records, Fatherless Childoffers a beautiful narrative of Jones’ personal experience with his piano, a relationship forged at the age of four after the death of his father from Leukemia. Beautiful vocal performances by guest artists are woven between emotional instrumentals. The first single, featuring Lewis, “Searching for Answers,” was written by Jones, award-winning songwriter and singer Montell Jordan and John Lawson.
Jamar’s story begins as a child prodigy in piano. Following his mother’s intuition to enroll him in a class at the age of four, it was only a few short years before Jamar was not only composing original tunes, but performing them in recitals. Never one to rest on early laurels, he became an avid student of music, theory and technique while performing with the following: Philadelphia Academy Boys Choir; the Grammy All-American High School and Grammy Delaware Valley Regional High School Jazz bands; Philadelphia All-City Jazz Band and the Mellon Jazz Festival High School Band.
Jamar admits that his greatest lessons were acquired playing in the Pentecostal church. “It presented me with a critical vehicle to experiment with musical styles, plus develop a discipline for musicianship solely through playing by ear,” he said.
A graduate of Central High School of Philadelphia, Jamar remains close to his roots, having orchestrated a grant from the Connelly Foundation to build a new computer music lab, which provided tools for students to learn composition and arranging in a modern, technological setting.
As a jazz arrangement and composition major at Temple University in Philadelphia, Jamar began working professionally in the music industry. His first producer credit was “Dear God” for fellow Philadelphia natives Boyz II Men on their Grammy-nominated album, “Evolution” in 1997. To date, he has worked as producer, music director, songwriter, string arranger and session musician for a who’s who list of artists including: Angie Stone; Fantasia; Jamie Foxx; Kanyé West; Musiq Soulchild; Richard Smallwood; Vickie Winans; the Philly Pops as well as the producer of the theme song, “So Amazing” for the Denzel Washington movie “The Hurricane,” featuring Boyz II Men and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Fatherless Child will be a welcome treat for music enthusiasts from all walks of life.