Helen Jones Woods

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Helen Jones Woods
Born 1923
Meridian, Mississippi United States
Genres jazz, swing
Occupation(s) Musician, nurse
Instruments trombone

Helen Jones Woods (born 1923) is a jazz and swing trombone player most renowned for her performances with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She was inducted into the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame in 2007.


In her 1940s heyday, young Helen Elizabeth Jones was in the top female jazz band in the United States. She started playing with the group when she was only 11 years old, when it was still the "school band" of Piney Woods Country Life School in Mississippi. Her father, Laurence C. Jones, founded the school in 1909.

After the band dissolved in 1947, Jones moved to Omaha and worked as a licensed practical nurse at Douglas County Hospital.[1] Jones Woods and her husband, William Alfred Woods, lived in the Logan Fontenelle Housing Projects while he attended Creighton University. Upon graduating, he became the first African-American to earn an accounting degree there.[2] Wood's fourth child is Cathy Hughes, a successful business entrepreneur from Omaha.[3] Today, Jones Woods lives in North Omaha.


  • Helen's father: Lawrence Jones[4]
  • Helen and William's daughter: Catherine Elizabeth Woods (b. 22 April 1947, Omaha, Nebraska)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MusicMakers: Helen Jones Woods". The HistoryMakers. 
  2. ^ "Owning the airwaves - Cathy Hughes buys radio stations for African-American programming." Essence. Jones, C. October 1998.
  3. ^ Jones, C. (1998) "Owning the airwaves - Cathy Hughes buys radio stations for African-American programming," Essence. October.
  4. ^ Honoring Jazz's Historic Sweethearts, Down Beat, April 2011, pg. 8