Home Of Interest Musician Raymond Jones has Died

Musician Raymond Jones has Died

 width=Veteran music writer A. posted the news on FaceBook yesterday that Raymond Jones: Composer, Producer, Keyboardist, Musical Director, Poet, Babysitter, Provacateur, Visionary, Doer, Brother, Friend had passed. No details were given on Jones’ death except that he had been ill.

Galloway stated: “I lost a very special cat today: Raymond Jones. Blessed to have shared priceless moments as a friend, fan, project partner, artist/journalist and mutual admirer of Music’s Global Masters. He challenged me with his BIG ideas, welcomed me into his home, played his piano just for me. Gonna miss his rants. He deserved better than what was returned him…”

RAYMOND JONES’ BIO (below)

RAYMOND JONES is a musician, composer, writer, producer, recording artist and engineer.

Born and raised in , RAYMOND began his professional career in high school. He performed with Latin groups in the area learning the traditional Latin styles of music. “The clave (Latin pulse) is in everything I do musically. I can’t go against clave to this day,” RAYMOND insists.

(pictured below: Raymond Jones with former band mates from Chic: Alfa Anderson and Norma Jean Wright

Alfa Ray Norma

Continuing his private studies throughout his formative years, RAYMOND worked with local dance and Jazz groups. His big break came when his friend TONY THOMPSON introduced him to and BERNARD EDWARDS who were forming the band CHIC. At age 19, RAYMOND joined the band, touring the world and playing on hit records such as GOOD TIMES, SISTER SLEDGE’S “WE ARE ”, and ’ “UPSIDE DOWN” among many others.

Eventually RAYMOND was called to perform and record with progressive rock artist NONA HENDRYX. That led to RAYMOND’S touring and recording with the TALKING HEADS and TOM CLUB. Calls came from CHAKA KHAN, DENISE WILLIAMS & for whom RAYMOND led his band and wrote the hits WITH ME TONIGHT and THE BORDERLINES.

Producer GEORGE DUKE invited RAYMOND to move to Los Angeles to work under his guidance as a music producer for artists such as STEPHANIE MILLS & ANGELA BOFILL among others.

RAYMOND began to work on film projects such as LITTLE DRUMMER & SPLASH. Eventually RAYMOND JONES and SPIKE met one another. They have subsequently worked together on five films SCHOOL DAZE, DO THE RIGHT THING, CLOCKERS, MO BETTER BLUES and GET ON THE BUS.

He has written songs for the likes of WHITNEY HOUSTON & PATTI LABELLE among many others.

In the late eighties to 1993, RAYMOND and former CHIC vocalist NORMA JEAN WRIGHT came together to create a group called STATE OF ART. They subsequently recorded one single for Polydor Records and a critically acclaimed CD for SPIKE LEE’S newly formed FORTY ACRES AND A MULE MUSIC WORKS. Although the group stopped recording in 1993, NORMA and RAYMOND remain close friends and continue collaborating on musical projects.

In 1997, RAYMOND recorded his first solo CD ACTS OF LOVE for the independent label UEG. Shortly after its release, he agreed to take a position from July of 1997 to March of 1998, as music director for the KEENEN IVORY WAYANS late night talk show (broadcast on the FOX network nationwide), running the all female band and scoring music for the show’s daily requirements. Working 10-12 hours a day for the show, RAYMOND was unable to begin work on his second CD NAKED SOUL until April of 1998, a month after the show ended. NAKED SOUL was released in 1999 and has been warmly received by RAYMOND’S audience.

In 2001, RAYMOND released his third solo CD INTMATE which has garnered rave reviews. INTIMATE was conceived as a song cycle about the nature of intimate relationships. In the fall of 2002, he also released his holiday single, CHRISTMAS BLUE (featuring Vocalist Alexx Daye) and a solo piano version of THE FIRST NOEL.

In late 2002, RAYMOND was approached by SPIKE LEE again. This time, to write lyrics for a commercial for PEPSI featuring BEYONCE KNOWLES singing the praises of the soft drink. The commercial first aired on March 23rd 2003 on the ACADEMY AWARDS program on ABC (in the US). Also that year, RAYMOND put together and led a band for rapper DMX featuring his friend, TONY THOMPSON (who passed away in November 2003). Unfortunately, DMX’s plans to perform with the unit did not materialize as he had planned, but there is recorded documentation of this powerful unit in DMX’s camp.

Also in 2003, RAYMOND provided the musical score for the hilarious independent film, WASABI TUNA. RAYMOND also produced the lead single from the film entitled COOCHIE POWER featuring ALEXIS ARQUETTE.

In 2004, RAYMOND released his first solo piano CD, SO AMAZING (SONGS FROM THE LUTHER VANDROSS SONGBOOK). A moving tribute to his friend of many years (the two worked together in the group CHIC). Also In 2004, JONES attended the premiere of his first ballet commission MOVE for the Deeply Rooted ballet company in Chicago. JONES composed the second movement of the multi movement piece which was performed in New York as well as Chicago.

After a relocation to Atlanta in 2005, JONES released HILLSIDE STORIES in September 2007. Its his fifth CD project and harkens back to a time of political and social awareness in Black Music. With titles such as Blood, One Man Dead and Misled, it provokes the listener to think as well as enjoy.

2008 found Jones arranging and producing music for the film SOUL MEN featuring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac as retired background (soul) singers. Also featured in the film are John Legend and Sharon Leal (Dreamgirls). Jones produced tracks and vocals featuring all of the aforementioned performers.

RAYMOND JONES continues to be a musician without boundaries.

CEO of RF Focus, Radio and Music Industry Veteran. Radio DJ, Programmer, Musician and Voice Talent. Graduated from Performing Arts in Buffalo, N.Y. and worked at the legendary KKBT (92.3 The Beat) during its nationwide heyday in the early 90s. Also worked for Stevie Wonder at KJLH.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Our last conversation together was about how much of a blessing our gig at Wilson’s was to each other so many years ago! God Bless you Raymond! I really appreciate you brother!

  2. I’ve had the priveledge to work with Raymond an amazing writer/musician/producer. I hope he will be remembered for his great works and kind spirit. Peace and Blessings to his family and friends

  3. There is no sadness today only the joy of knowing that G-d put us in the same place many times over the years in and on different projects, he has stood by me through hard times and was very clear about things I needed to really look at.
    In my fight for my son Donovan Drayton Raymond never moved and helped in anyway he could.There are just to many fun times and powerful ones of the music just flowing off the stage or off the tape decks. I will use the wisdom and keen mental he dropped on me to go forward. You know he had such a funny laugh I can hear him saying I’m alright take care of yourself.
    Only The Body Dies
    Love ya bro
    Ronny Drayton

  4. Simply an amazing mind and musician. I had the privilege of knowing and working with him.
    I’m stunned by his death and wished we had worked together even more extensively. Sorry we didn’t get to do that Miles Davis project but you can show him just how brilliant you are. Godspeed my brother.

  5. Raymond cared about so many and so much. Never making a judgement in a negative about anyone. Giving all the benefit and willing to listen. He valued his friends and was always trying to help us stay on top of the game of life. He enjoyed his private time, just a cool spirit. I wished I had stayed more in touch with him lately. We were planning to do a benefit show right up to the end. This is a shock for me as well. RIP My FRIEND!!!! You are missed already.

  6. Raymond started a record company once and called me to be the head of promotions and only promotions manager. He called it Big Deal Records……While in LA at dinner one night I asked Ray why did he choose the name Big Deal Records ?? His replay was when people found out that Raymond Jones had a record company their replay would be BIG DEAL………lol

    That was my buddy Ray

    I miss you my friend !!

  7. Just want to say that Raymond was a legendary musician and a true prodigy from Jamaica Queens. I have always been proud of the musical projects he produced as they showcased the talents of a musical giant. I will miss his warm smile and gentle nature.

    I send out condolences to his sister Marcia and the family for this truly great loss. I want to encourage them to know that their son was called home to do a more mighty work.

  8. I’m still having a hard time believing that my buddy is gone. Raymond was a funny man full of laughter and jokes. I’ll never forget once out in L.A. went to lunch, me thinking we are going to a nice big restaurant and we ended up going to this little whole in the wall Jamican place with a $6.99 buffet. I think I laughed all the way through lunch and so did he! Fun times. You will be missed my friend! R.I.P.

  9. Raymond Jones is the most considerate gentleman. he is and will always be in my heart. I love him. I m so sorry that we never made it out to Atlanta to see his new home or the Boom Boom Room he created there. We also did not see him the last time he was in LA in June. We were supposed to go out to dinner but did not because he left a wee bit earlier than expected so we said we’d see him in Atlanta over the summer. I hope that you had a great time on that “Special” vacation that you said you were taking in June Raymond.

  10. My condolences to Raymond’s family. I worked with Raymond in the mid-seventies with Ecstasy – Passion & Pain. I knew then that he was a great talent and destined for good things. He will be missed.

  11. i will miss Raymond dearly, he was a mentor,a big brother,and close friend for 30 years. me like so many others ray gave me my beginnings in the record business. He instilled in me a strong work ethic of high standards. A Raymond story for you, we were working on a project in his studio when he lived in woodland hills, and we took a break and went to the store to buy dinner, so as we were
    walking, raymond was on one of his rants about his lovely neighborhood. as we noticed one of the store workers following us, before we knew it they (the worker) was before us asking? “may i help you?” raymond then replied yes! do you have a million dollars? the clerk said no, raymond in true form replied ” i guess you can’t help”. we laughed all the way out the store. that was my friend Raymond Jones. I MISS YOU BRO.

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