Islanders are in store for a jazz, soul, and R&B night to remember with “Eugenie Jones: Silk and Souls,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 27, in the Kay White Hall lobby of Vashon Center for the Arts.
An extraordinary vocalist and gifted lyrist, and former Earshot Jazz Recording Artist of the Year and Vocalist of the Year, Jones is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter with a growing international fan base and a stellar reputation among players in the top echelon of jazz.
Her first two albums, “Black Lace, Blue Tears” (2013) and “Come Out Swinging” (2015) caught the ear of legendary jazz double bassist, Reggie Workman, known for his work with both John Coltrane and Art Blakey.
Workman played on Jones’ third and latest double CD, “Players” (2022), joining more than 30 other musicians who recorded their contributions in studios in Chicago, New York, Dallas, and of course, Seattle. The album was ranked #30 on Jazz Week’s 2022 Top 100 Albums, was rated #7 on the Top 50 charts, and was a contender in the Best Vocal Jazz Album Grammy category.
Jones grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and as a little girl, she witnessed her mother’s love of singing in the church choir that her father directed. She moved to Kitsap County in 1994 with her then-husband, where she raised two boys and cared for her mother.
When her mother lost her battle with cancer, Eugenie says, “I realized I missed hearing her sing around the house. In trying to reach a place of solace, I said, ‘I wonder if I can carry on that part of her?’”
In the last decade, Jones has gone on to not only honor her mother’s legacy but establish her own, while also paying homage to the legacies of a host of jazz, blues, soul, and R&B greats that came before her.
But it’s her songwriting that sets her apart.
Whether she’s evoking a mood, telling a story, or just sharing in universal feeling with the listener, she goes all the way.
“When I start writing, I’m singing into the recorder; melody and lyrics are coming simultaneously,” she said. “For ‘There Are Thorns,’ I wanted to write a song that encouraged people to pull through difficult experiences. For ‘Sittin’ At The Bar,’ I wanted to create a picture of a smoky bar where you’re just sitting there having a drink and you don’t want anybody to bother you.”
Jones is now fast becoming a local and national jazz legend in her own right.
Blue Note Records recording artist Joe Chambers has predicted that Jones will soon become a widely-known music sensation, calling her “an excellent singer, with a voice, style, and range that encompasses multiple idioms.”
Don’t miss a chance to witness this legend-in-the-making, on Saturday, May 27. Tickets are available at vashoncenterforthearts.org.