CMB Talks to Longtime Colorado Musician Trevor Jones

| August 1, 2015


Colorado Music Buzz recently caught up with Trevor Jones (Frogs Gone Fishin’, Trevor Jones Band) to discuss his most recent promotion endeavor, the Bridge to Nepal Fest at State Bridge Amphitheater, August 21st-23rd.

CMB: What have you been up to recently?

TCJ: I have a weird double life. It usually takes a little while for people to understand everything I’m up to, the bigger picture. I’ve never felt comfortable only playing music. I worked on housing rights in Denver for a while, and am finishing up a master’s degree in international studies at University of Denver. I write about humanitarianism, which is probably where the idea for this fest came from. I’m always looking for ways to help others.

CMB: Where did you grow up? Did you play music as a kid?

TCJ: I was born at Rose Hospital in Denver! I learned piano first, and to sing in choirs, but we really starting jamming in high school Let’s just say it was one of the preppy ones in South Denver, but you know what, when I look at the bands that have been on the scene in Colorado for years and years, so many of those guys went to that school.* But year, I have maximum love and respect for this city and our state as its grown. I remember growing up we had mountain lion training at elementary school. Now that part of town is one of the fastest growing counties in the country.

(*The notion is based in fact: members of Trevor’s own Frogs Gone Fishin’ and CO music vanguards The Fox Street All-Stars, Springdale Quartet, The Congress and more all have ties to the unnamed school. When pressed, Trevor says the HS name rhymes with “hairy cheek”.)

CMB: What happened after that?

TCJ: I studied psychology in New Orleans during college. Hurricane Katrina and the musical response to the disaster shaped a lot of how I approach community now. It felt like we were counselors as much as musicians… the bars were the first places that people got back on their feet, oftentimes just by being around others and sharing in that crazy time and place. I actually started Frogs in Nashville with Andrew Portwood during that period. Being a refugee inside of the United States of America was a tough experience, but taught me a little bit of self-reliance but also that you should never assume what anyone has been through in life.

CMB: But FGF really grew in CO and you continue to play with NOLA musicians…

TCJ; Right. Even though we started touring and playing shows in New Orleans and Nashville, it was Colorado that really allowed us to grow, to learn to improvise.” We played at Jay Bianci’s bars and built a following in the mountains. After college I felt the need to connect the two communities [NOLA and Denver}. After learning to speak the musical language of NOLA, I wanted to bring my friends to Red Rocks and planned Mountainside Mardi Gras. at Red Rocks. I can tell you we lost our hats on that one, but I still have people who come up to me and talk about that show in 2009. The line-up included Dr. John and funk scions Dumpstaphunk, of Neville Bro’s lineage. I sat-in with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. I’ll never forget looking up into the crowd at Red Rocks, I can check that off the list. I suppose I wouldn’t mind going back one day (laughs).

CMB: So why not become a full time promoter after that?

TCJ: I didn’t really want to be a promoter after Mountainside. I really respect Scott (Morrill of Cervantes) and a number of other promoters in Colorado. Playing music always felt like the right way to contribute to the community. We toured all over with Frogs and planned small-scale events. It took a long time for me to want to promote again. The combination of the beauty at State Bridge , what happened in Nepal and a unique scheduling opportunity made me want to jump in this time.  I have been having an unbelievably fun time playing with the horns and B-3 organ in Trevor Jones Band. I essentially see it as big party for some of my favorite artists and friends at a great venue, for a great cause.”

CMB: Who will be receiving money from the show?

TCJ: I’m very satisfied that a solid non-profit called NAMLO International has come forward to responsibly receive the money. I would really encourage everyone to check out their work. They do awesome things in both Nepal and Nicaragua. Nepal had two devastating earthquakes earlier this year. The response needs are still relatively high, and most media has moved on to cover other things. The communities that were affected are very remote and individuals are still trying to create permanent housing options. Earthquakes, or hurricanes for that matter, aren’t political in nature, the need is just there, and I think that played into the idea of starting this fest.

CMB: What Colorado artists will be playing?

TCJ: They are all Colorado artists this time around! One of the first bands I called was Atomga, the afro-beat cats in Denver. Leah kills it on bari (-tone sax). I’m also very excited to hear Tiger Party, several of the DJ’s and I’ll also be DJ’ing a set late night. Lady and The Gentleman will be there. In addition, Art Smart Anatomy, several fantastic DJ’s, some local Vail bands like The Sessh, Renegade Sons and Altitones, as well. I’ll be playing in 3 groups, and DJ’ing (laughs).

CMB: Wow you have your work cut out for you!  How do you do it?

TCJ: (Laughs) I can’t stop, lots of coffee. I’m very grateful to Eric Frank at COJam for sponsoring the show, helping me find artists and playing drums in several groups, I might add. I think what he is doing over there is just great. Also a big shout out is necessary to Liz Claire and Sarah Puddy for constantly thinking of creative ideas.

CMB: Why should people come to State Bridge at the end of August?

TCJ: The lineup has really solidified, there will be great food, yoga and river activities and it’s all for a great cause! We are very much emphasizing the wellness aspect of things and there will be some cool people who are knowledgeable about not only Nepal, but things like health and the environment, too.  I know I look forward to events like this to celebrate this beautiful Colorado community of ours, especially during the summer.

TJ Band Bio

Trevor Jones (of Frogs Gone Fishin’) and his PRS have graced stages from Red Rocks to deep In the Bayou of Louisiana. With musical influences from The bright lights of NYC to the West Coast and beyond, Trevor’s new project, The Trevor Jones Band will delight listeners of all musical genres.

With over 12 years of experience playing music in the Denver area, Trevor has gathered the cream of the crop from the city he loves, to help take his guitar playing to the next level. Horns, keys, percussion and female vocals constitute this deep, funky arsenal of killer musicians. Playing both Trevor’s originals and B-Side covers with great influence from New Orleans, a city close to Trevor’s heart, TJB is guaranteed to please.

The Trevor Jones Band exhibits the man’s command of both a bigger band and the instrument he loves: the electric guitar. Re-discovering his organic voice, Trevor has mastered improvisation on his main instrument. Having played music in India and Central America, the TJB will synthesize this global musicianship through the voice of Trevor’s guitar and the deep musicianship of his bandmates.

“I feel more comfortable having a musical conversation with these guys than when I’m trying to speak English in front of people,” Trevor joked in a recent interview. “I encourage people to come absorb what I’ve tried to create my whole life, my own voice on the guitar that speaks to both the cosmic and the worldly… and makes you want to dance your complete ass off, of course…”


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