From the start of the show to the end (about 4 hours!), Mr. Kipper is jovial, flashy on the outside, humble on the inside; just a bit warmer in presentation than one would expect of someone who spent years surrounded by the world of entertainment. Before you jump too far ahead, I believe that the wrong experience in the entertainment world have sent many truly talented artists home packing. People give up or are 'set aside' either because they couldn't hack the emotional pressure, or the extensive highs and 'Grand Canyon' lows of fame, can leave little to be desired. It's hard to survive in this industry without a strong foundation. Not only is Mr. Kipper NOT PACKING, there is no chance that he will be moving anywhere but up in entertainment so I decided to step into his world, make myself at home, and dive a little deeper into the life of the legend in the making, 'Kipper Jones'.
Although Kipper did not grow up with the preverbial silver spoon in his mouth, excellent rearing and a great foundation certainly set an ambitious path in motion. He lived majority of his life in Los Angeles and now resides in Atlanta, GA with regular performances at the legendary Cafe 290, and many other 'swanky grown folk' locations. Cafe 290 is where I 1st had the experience that truly 'changed my understanding' of live R&B music. $15 cover and a strict RSVP option WELL worth it, dining (seafood is my fav), drinks, and the service is also a plus, all with a smile. Expect dancing in the aisles in this intimate space, with an attire set for the grown and sexy because the music will set you free! It was soulful and gritty, funky and melodic, sexy and smooth. . . all the things which embody the authentic rhythm and blues style we've come to love. Kipper sang songs that reminded me of 'living room jam sessions' with tons of loud sometimes on key, and sometimes off key, joyous memories with family and friends. Of the 3 set performance experienced at the Kipper Jones R&B Circus, Cafe 290 show, each set is filled with a variety of sounds inspired by every artist from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to Usher and Gap Band, believe me, you will not regret one moment!!! Growing up as the grandaughter of a Pastor, I have an inclined ear to good southern church riffs and smooth runs which embody a deeper connection to the music that very few singers possess - it was almost spiritual.
A spiritual journey in music is exactly what the Kipper Jones R&B Circus experience is reminiscent of, for me. But then, I have a very different love affair with music than some people and have even been known to cut a rug in the grocery store if the right song comes on the public announcement system. Even still, Kipper is an amazing singer, performer, and 'boy oh boy', does he know how to choose a musician! Only the best band for the best set in Georgia including a rotating list of extraordinary bass, keyboard, bongo, drums, and even a bit of African influence in the musicianship can be found.
The thing which ultimately impressed me most is that throughout Kipper's show, he would mention hints of his faith. At happenstance, on that particular night he invited everyone in the club to a church event that was happening that weekend. During one of his mingles through the crowd, I made an introduction and was honored to have been able to learn about the importance of his faith, he stated that his faith actually "keeps him inspired, committed, and determined to continue his musical journey". A few of the photos above are from that church event and not only was Mr. Kipper present in the choir, singing for God, he was present throughout the event, celebrating with his family, and being as jovial and happy as ever. The truth is, when you know who you are as a singer, and as a person, you can sing anywhere, anything, for anyone. It is not the words that people hear, although they may sound great - in any artist, it is the soul that truly shines through.
Kipper Jones is great because he inspires through his music and utilizes his gifts to add joy and hope within a shaky societal climate. If you happen to catch one of his shows, you may actually go away feeling 'blessed' to have been in the room with such beautiful music, performed passionately. For those of you who need to know all the bells and whistles of "previous work experience' to help you take a listen, I've included those details below ('Putting in Work'),which can all be found on his website at https://kipperjones.com/. Other handles include: Twitter rnbcircus - unclekipper - and here is a list of some of his AMAZING band members:
Jadan Sorenson - Guitar
\nBilly Barlow - Keys
\nQuinton Robinson - Drums
\nDemonterious DETOXXX Lawrence - Bass
\nDarryl "Doc" Harris - Percussion
\nThe reason I decided this article must be written is not because of all the amazing people Kipper Jones has worked with or even necessarily how talented he is, although that helps; it's because the world needs more artist who are actually passionate about the work of creating art from scratch, being transparent in the performance, and challenging the world to see a better future for us all. Mr. Kipper Jones, thank you for the privilege of writing my impression of your work, your R&B Circus Show, and faith perspective using my voice, my pen, and my experiences. May success find you at every turn and new life, new experiences ,and new hope is born in every piece of work you set your hands to create. Many blessings to you and your beautiful family, faith family, and musical family.
I'm Speak Resilience - AKA Toseima J-Coz
Mr. Kipper Jones - "Putting in Work"
For those of you who require name dropping, facts over rhetoric, and the cleftnote version of what makes this man a solid celebrity with equal amounts of humility, here are the bulletpoints:
- He was trained by Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds & Luther Vandross.
- He has worked with Grammy Award winner, Snarky Puppy, Anita Baker, Rhonda Thomas, Teddy Pendergrass, Brian McKnight, Teena Marie, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Sly Stone, Big Band leader Joe Gransden, and Trumpeter Joey Sommerville.
- Performed with an R&B outfit TEASE
- According to Wikipedia Kipper Jones is the songwriter of following jams:
The Comfort Zone (Vanessa Williams)
I Wanna Be Down (Brandy)
The Right Stuff (Vanessa Williams)
“Closer To The Source,” which lends the Leroy Hutson classic a new coat of paint with the help of drummer Lil’ Jon Roberts and GRAMMY Award winners Snarky Puppy.