Rico Jones is steadily becoming one of the top young saxophonists of his generation. A Colorado native, Rico has been deeply compelled by artistic expression since early childhood. Before music, Rico taught himself how to draw. His creativity similarly lent itself to music as he started his path as a musician by learning to play by ear. Rico grew up in Denver performing under the guidance of local artists such as Jon Romero, Ellyn Rucker, Laura Newman, Paul Romaine, Greg Gisbert, Eric Gunnison, Art Lande, Brad Goode and Vlad Girshevich among others. As the years passed Rico became enthralled by black American musical art forms. Blues, and Jazz became a primary mode of expression for Jones and his ensembles. As he grew, his heritage as a Latino with indigenous roots became a focus for his artistic expressions. Rico has received over 10 national awards for his improvisation, composition and arranging, and ensemble leading.
He has performed with notable artists such as Dave Kikoski, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Matt Clohesy, Yasushi Nakimura, Dan Weiss, Dezron Douglas, Johnathan Blake, Bobby Watson, Ari Hoenig, Lage Lund, Kush Abaday, Joe Martin, Colin Stranahan, Rick Rosato, Rich Perry, Steven Feifke and many others.
For Rico creative arts music has always been a way to focus his energies and emotions in times of stress or emotional struggle. During the summer of the 2020 pandemic Rico began a free weekend concert series in Denver at Sloan’s Lake park. Not only did the concerts come out of a need to express art creatively, but also a need to fulfill the basic human desire to socialize. As the concert series grew, crowds upwards of 300 socially distanced people would sit in the park to eat, spend time with family, and listen. The series became an outlet for the community to heal and come together safely in a very difficult time. As a result PBS, and other outlets covered the concert series. Rico regularly involved as much of the musical community as safely possible in the concerts. Musicians needed to express themselves again in a communal setting. Young players had a chance to learn alongside older and more experienced players and elders had a chance to pass along what they’ve learned. Rico currently lives in New York where he pursues performance, composition, and ensemble leading.
Rico Jones – Sax
Matt Clohesy – Bass
Dave Kikoski – Piano
Harold Summey – Drums