Leslie Ann Jones

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Leslie Ann Jones at work mixing

Leslie Ann Jones is a multiple Grammy Award-winning[1] recording engineer working as Director of Music Recording and Scoring at Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm, Ltd. company. She is a past Chair of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Board of Trustees, the organization that awards Grammys. She is the daughter of novelty drummer, percussionist and bandleader Spike Jones and his wife, singer Helen Grayco.

Early influences[edit]

Leslie Ann Jones has had an interest in music since her early childhood in the Los Angeles-area TV and music scene. Through her father she was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles. Through her mother, Helen Grayco (who sang with her father's band), she grew to appreciate fine vocalists such as Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. She was given a Sears Silvertone electric guitar and played in a band starting from when she was fourteen. She played Top 40 hits on guitar and sang background vocals with an all-female band; she arranged music for other people's bands and assembled a PA system. In 1974, Jones served as road manager and live sound mixer for Fanny on their world tour.[2] Jones also made basement recordings for bands on an early Tascam ½" 4-track tape machine. She wanted to be another Peter Asher and produce bands.[3] Her favorite music is big band.[4]

Recording career[edit]

Leslie Ann Jones's first engineering job was at ABC Studios working as a production engineer, making copies of recordings. She worked as an assistant engineer for several years, training with Roy Halee, Reggie Dozier and Barney Perkins until being asked by John Mayall to lead the engineering of his live concert album Lots of People in 1977.

In 1978, Jones moved north to San Francisco, California to work at The Automatt, a recording studio known for cutting edge developments such as automation in mixing, an innovation followed quickly by the purchase of one of the earliest digital audio recording systems. Jones recorded many cues for the Apocalypse Now soundtrack and recordings by Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana. She trained with engineer Fred Catero and producer David Rubinson.[5] She also recorded albums by Maze, Confunkshun, Holly Near, and Angela Bofill.

The Automatt closed in 1984 and Jones became a freelance engineer for three years. She engineered sessions for Windham Hill Records as well as for Olivia Records in their last few years of operation.

In 1987, Jones moved back to Los Angeles to work at Capitol Records. That position lasted for ten years, during which time she furthered her reputation by engineering prominent jazz, vocal and classical recordings such as Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, and continued recording film and TV scores.

In 1997, Leslie Ann Jones began working with Skywalker Sound, where she continues to the present as Director of Music Recording and Scoring; she keeps busy recording orchestral scores, mixing film and video elements and recording and producing music albums. She enjoys playing on one of the intramural Skywalker softball teams.[6]

Promoting women[edit]

As a woman working in a field long dominated by men, Jones has participated in many 'firsts'. She was the first woman assistant engineer to be hired at ABC Studios in Los Angeles. She was the first female National Officer of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Jones is on the advisory board of Women's Audio Mission.[7] WAM is an all-volunteer, women-run organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the recording arts. She also serves on the Recording Arts Advisory Board of Expression College of Digital Arts, serves as a Trustee for the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy, is on the Board of Music in Schools today, and is an advisor on guest instructor for recording at Institute for the Musical Arts in Goshen, Massachusetts.

In 2001, Jones was invited to take part in Women in NASA's 6th Annual Virtual Take Our Daughters To Work Day, sponsored by Ms. Foundation for Women.[8]

Jones has produced a number of recordings that feature women musicians, from small regional groups like Montclair Women's Big Band[9] to major artists associated with feminism, activism or women's music such as Holly Near, Cris Williamson, Margie Adam and Ronnie Gilbert. Jones co-produced one of Jane Fonda's follow-up workout videos in 1984 and she received a platinum record for the album of the same name.

Career chronology[edit]

Credits[edit]

Music albums[edit]

Film sound[edit]

TV shows[edit]

5.1 DVD concert sound[edit]

Video game scores[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]