You could call him a citizen of the world. Or dub him a student of the soul. You can consider him an adventurer, an explorer, a globetrotter and a lover of far-flung cultures. All of them are accurate, all of them a direct result of an unquenchable thirst for growth and an undeniable joie de vivre. And each and every one is as apparent in his music as they are in black and white on a page. Perhaps it’s because the life experiences he stockpiled in his travels—travels that read like a book, where the protagonist travels to India, Nepal, and Bhutan, immersing himself in Far East culture and philosophy, studying Tibetan Buddhism, and for all we know, teaching llamas to sing—inform the content of his songs. Perhaps it’s because during his time in Brazil he fell in love yet again, this time with dulcet sounds that would come to guide his musical style. Or perhaps it lies deeper. Who knows? It could those very traits that not only set him on the path to learn the lessons that would feed his art, but turned Jones into a proponent of Zen and an ambassador of the samba-inspired synthesis known as Tropicalia in the first place. Whatever the case, the outcome has been the same: songs to both soothe the soul and make toes tap. An inimitable catalyst of sambadelic sway. Hell, if Cleaveland Jones’ tunes were any more laid back, they’d be flip-flops. And with a solid debut effort already under his belt in 2006′s Keeping Up With the Jonses, the singer-songwriter and Tropicalia troubadour further defines his musical identity and more deeply carves out his niche with his 2010 follow up. Taõ Jones is an embodiment, not only of the philosophies and ideals Jones subscribes to and a startlingly nimble interpretation of the musical styles that have impacted him as a musician, but also as a study of life and of the spirit, and a commentary on our culture and our times. Consider the title of the album, a nod to the impact of Taoism on the artist’s life, to be sure. But also an ironic play on words, given the pronunciation of Taõ (the title, properly pronounced, is Dow Jones). And as if thousands of miles underfoot and the span of myriad cultures behind weren’t enough to lend diversity to Jones’ sophomore offering, the album has a sound that is native to Miami.
TIME: 10:00 pm – 02:00 am
LOCATION: 337 SW 8th St,Miami
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Recorded at the venerable DJ Le Spam’s City of Progress Studios, Taõ Jones also counts amongst its contributors a number of other collaborators—a venerable All Star cast of Miami’s best and brightest musicians, true talents like: Jesse Jackson, Elastic Bond vocalist Sofy Encanto, Brian Robertson of Awesome New Republic, Lanzallamas Monofonica bandleader Fabi Patino, Michelle Foreman and Chad Bernstein from Suenalo, Diogo Oliveira, A.J. Hill, Kenneth Metzker, John Babl, Brian Potts, Mike Bordelon, Adrian Gonzalez, Augie Haas and Jill Hartmann. Jones has already received plenty of well-deserved praise in the press for the album.
His music has been covered in the popular newsletter Daily Candy, South Florida’s biggest newspaper, the Miami Herald.
NBC Miami says, “Aurally, he’s a mad dash of island cool amid a core of neo-classic Tropicalia. Live, he’s just plain fun,” And local writer John Hood: “If Caetano Veloso’s bastard son had been born in America’s Bread Basket and raised on a steady diet of Caribbean Cool, the result might sound like Taõ Jones.” Meanwhile, the Miami New Times dubbed the record “a happy marriage showcasing reggae, soul, and samba in perfect spiritual harmony.”