When Jamison Ross won the Thelonious Monk Institute drumming competition in 2012, it gave him a “golden ticket” to the jazz world. But the young drummer didn’t know exactly where he wanted to go.
“What it gets you is notoriety and a platform,” said Ross, who plays two sets at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience today. “But the catch is, what do you do with that platform? When I got the chance to make a record due to the competition, it took me three years to figure it out.”
Jamison Ross grew up going to church with his grandfather in Jacksonville, Florida. The gospel music he heard there stuck with him and by high school, he was studying jazz drumming.
Ross continued his jazz studies as an undergraduate at Florida State University and as a master’s candidate at the University of New Orleans. He settled here, and in 2012, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for drumming and signed with the storied Concord Jazz label.
GRAMMY®-nominated Singer and Drummer Jamison Ross set to open India.Arie’s Worthy Tour in Charleston, SC; Richmond, VA; Charlotte, NC; Austin, TX; Carmel, IN & Louisville, KY
Los Angeles, CA (April 25, 2019) – It was announced today that GRAMMY®-nominated singer and drummer Jamison Ross will join India.Arie for six shows of the 2019 Worthy Tour. The tour is in support of the four-time GRAMMY® winning artist/songwriter’s latest album WORTHY (SoulBird/BMG).
Drummer Jamison Ross believes that he took a gamble by singing on his first two albums.
Ross, who performs Saturday at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center as a part of the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, won the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drum Competition. Winning the Monk competition came with the chance to record his self-titled debut album, which was released in 2015.
He could have played to form and released an instrumental album or invited guest vocalists to join him. Instead, Ross decided to drum and sing on “Jamison.”
“Most people would say that it was risky to come out on my debut as a singer,” he says. “But I’ve been singing all of my life, so it’s not uncomfortable for me to sing and play the drums.”
Drummer Jamison Ross’ astounding musical versatility helped propel him to victory in the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drum Competition, for which he was awarded a recording contract with Concord Records. His debut album, 2015’s Jamison, proved just how versatile he truly was. That’s because Ross used the album as an opportunity to showcase not only his astute drumming but also his tremendous ability as a vocalist, a talent that few in the jazz world knew he possessed but were all too glad to discover. (It was subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.) Ross’ singing has since become a primary vehicle for his artistic expression, and his follow-up album, All For One, proved once again just how eloquent he can be behind the mic.
The winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition is also a winning vocalist, as he demonstrated on his 2015 debut album Jamison on Concord Jazz. “At the time I recorded that album, people knew me as a drummer,” he recalls. “They didn’t know I could sing, and I wanted to merge my gifts.” A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Ross began his music journey at his grandfather’s church, where he sang and played drums. He continued to study music at Douglas Anderson High School and subsequently earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies at Florida State University.
Albums, chansons, révélations, concerts… Voici ce qui a le plus marqué les membres de notre rédaction en 2018. Première partie.
• Thirdstory / “Cold Heart” (Verve)
• Seinabo Sey / “I’m A Dream” (Saraba AB-Universal)
• Delgres / “Mo Jodi” (Pias)
• Jamison Ross / “All For One” (Concord)
• Cedric Burnside / “Benton County Relic” (Single Lock)
• Walter Wolfman Washington / “My Future Is My Past” (Anti-)
• Janelle Monáe / “Dirty Computer” (Warner)
• The Marcus King Band / “Carolina Confessions” (Fantasy)
The Offbeat Magazine 2018 Best of the Beat Awards named Jamison Ross and his latest release, All For One, in the following five categories: Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, Best Contemporary Jazz Artist, Best Male Vocalist & Best Drummer. Voting runs through January 15th and is open to the public. Visit www.Offbeat.com to cast your vote.
Jamison Ross at the Little Gem Saloon: It’s natural that one might expect a tribute to the late great vocalist, pianist and composer Nina Simone to feature a female singer. This night in the intimate setting of the Little Gem Saloon, Jamison Ross showed that a heartfelt, emotional delivery was what it takes to put Simone’s hits across. With Ross simultaneously playing drums and pianist Shea Pierre and bassist Max Moran, the trio wowed the packed room.
Modern Drummer magazine nominated Jamison Ross in their Up & Coming category for their 2019 readers poll. The nomination comes just a few months after the magazine featured Ross in it’s June 2018 issue. Voting is open to the public and is open December 1 to December 24. To vote visit https://www.moderndrummer.com/2019-polling-form/.