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Background information
Born (1980-07-15) July 15, 1980 (age 39)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
GenresBlues, jump blues, rock and roll, swing revival, soul, roots
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, drums
Years active1998–present

JW-Jones (born July 15, 1980) is a Canadian blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and band leader. He is a Juno Award nominee (2015), Billboard magazine Top 10 Selling[1] artist, and winner of the International Blues Challenge for "Best Self-Produced CD Award" for his release 'High Temperature' in 2017.

Jones' first recording contract was signed with CrossCut Records (Germany) in 2000, who released his first seven CDs in Europe. He was the first artist signed to the NorthernBlues Music label in Toronto and released his first six recordings with the label. Jones has also worked with Ruf Records in the USA, and Blind Pig Records. He has released nine studio albums and one live album. He has played in 23 countries in four continents and continues to tour extensively. Jones, who lives in Ottawa, Ontario, has performed at blues festivals, theatres and clubs in Canada, the USA, Europe, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia and Brazil.

On June 19, 2014, Jones was presented with a Forty Under 40 Award by Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. It is a celebration of entrepreneurship in Ottawa - a "salute to the region’s young business stars who balance business achievement, professional expertise and community involvement."[2]

Critical response[edit]

In May 2009, Jones' song "Parasomnia" appeared on a Guitar World featured CD, Guitar Masters Vol. 2, among B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana. The Canadian national newspaper The Globe and Mail referred to Jones as "one of this country's top blues guitar stars". The US Blues Revue magazine' stated that "Jones' style is a fluid amalgam of T-Bone Walker's big, bright chords, Johnny "Guitar" Watson's slashing leads, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's jazzy sting".[citation needed] Billboard called Jones part of "a new wave of young talent moving onto Canada’s blues stage."[3]

Charlie Musselwhite stated, "JW Jones is one of the best guitar players I’ve heard in a long time. He and his band do great tunes with cool arrangements and I love listening to them. They play with taste and fire at the same time." The guitarist Little Charlie Baty has said, "JW is one of the young guns in the blues guitar world who consistently delivers the goods on record and on stage - and of course I'm gonna dig anybody who writes a tune called 'Batyology'!" (an instrumental that Jones wrote in homage to Baty). The Canadian-born Hollywood actor Dan Aykroyd, who is also known for his Blues Brothers persona "Elwood Blues" has called the group an "amazing blues band".[4]

Chuck Leavell, a member of the Rolling Stones, wrote "His evolution as a musician and vocalist shine through on this record like never before. Real songs, real playing by real people, and JW is the real deal" in the liner notes for the JW-Jones release 'High Temperature'.


Late 1990s[edit]

Jones, who attended Ridgemont High School in Ottawa, Ontario, won the 1998 R&R Concerts "Battle of the Bands", at the age of eighteen. The prize package included studio time that was used to record a six song demo that was later reviewed by Blues Revue. The next year, Jones won the 1999 Ottawa Blues Guitar Riff-Off competition. The prize package included studio time that was used to record his first album, Defibrillatin (SBR001-2000 / NBM0001-2001). The album included Steve Marriner, a then-high-school-age Ottawa blues harp player. AllMusic states that the "Keyboardist [Pierre] Chretien [on organ and piano] is credited with bringing a jazz influence to Jones' and the band's sound" during that time period.[5] The CD liner notes say that Steve Hiscox played drums on the album and Nathan Morris played upright bass. Morris played on several subsequent albums and played and toured with the band. On subsequent albums, Morris is also credited for electric bass.


In the 2000s, Jones was invited to perform on stage with a number of blues bands and artists, including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Junior Watson, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Rusty Zinn, Rick Holmstrom, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, The Mannish Boys and Hubert Sumlin. Jones' second album was Bogart's Bounce, which included performances by the singer and blues "harp" player Kim Wilson (from The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and the pianist Gene Taylor (from The Blasters).

JW Jones playing guitar.

His third album with his band, My Kind of Evil (2004), was produced by the multi-Grammy nominee Kim Wilson (singer for The Fabulous Thunderbirds), and includes vocals by the Canadian singer/guitarist Colin James on two tracks, and Roxanne Potvin on another. Songs from the album have been played on the internationally syndicated House of Blues Radio Hour. The music reviewer Brad Wheeler from Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper praised the "graceful ability he (Jones) shows on guitar" in the album.[6] Wheeler wrote, "...the Ottawa player makes retro moves, layering swinging blues with keyboards and very noticeable horns that never dominate the fine-lined fills and lead work." The Allmusic review of My Kind of Evil, by Chris Nickson, says,t "He's very good on covers, such as "I Don't Know," but his own songs — the vast majority of this disc — have plenty of life."[7]

In 2006, Jones released his fourth album, Kissing in 29 Days, which included performances by David "Fathead" Newman on tenor saxophone. Newman was the main saxophone player with Ray Charles for 12 years. In Blues Revue magazine, Bret Kofford wrote, "JW-Jones is highly regarded in blues circles."[8]

On May 13, 2008, the fifth album, Bluelisted went on sale. The recording includes special guests Little Charlie Baty (leader of the band Little Charlie & the Nightcats, which records on Alligator Records), Junior Watson, Richard Innes and Larry Taylor. The liner notes are written by Dan Aykroyd.

On May 6, 2009, Hubert Sumlin (then 77), a blues guitarist who worked with Howlin' Wolf for more than 20 years and was named in the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, recorded with JW-Jones at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The rhythm section was Richard Innes and Larry Taylor (who appear on Bluelisted).


Midnight Memphis Sun (NorthernBlues/CrossCut/Ruf) was released on August 10, 2010. In April 2011, Jones signed an endorsement deal with Gibson Guitars. Jones' seventh album, Seventh Hour, released on March 27, 2012, reached #1 on B.B. King's Bluesville on XM Sirius Satellite Radio, and led the band to performing at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago in February 2013, and opening for B.B. King at the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest on July 14, 2013.

Jones was asked to co-host the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto on January 20, 2014, which took place mid-way through a tour with Johnny Winter. Jones opened for Jimmie Vaughan in May that year.

On June 19, 2014, Jones was presented with a Forty Under 40 Award by Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. It is the biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship in Ottawa, a salute to the region’s young business stars who balance business achievement, professional expertise and community involvement.[2]

"Belmont Boulevard" was released on October 14 and is Jones's first release for the American blues label Blind Pig Records, recorded in Nashville with the Grammy Award winning producer Tom Hambridge. It debuted at #9 on Billboard's Blues Charts on November 8, 2014.[1] The disc was released in Canada on October 7, distributed by Stony Plain Records. It debuted and held the #1 position on Roots Music Report, the radio air-play chart, in Canada for thirteen weeks between October 2014 and February 2015.[9] The album was nominated as Blues Album of the Year at the Juno Awards and Recording of the Year at Maple Blues Awards, and Jones was nominated for Guitarist of the Year.

After Buddy Guy sang with JW-Jones at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, Illinois, on April 14, 2015, he asked Jones to play guitar with him during two sold-out shows at Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa on April 27 and 28, 2015. Guy joined the band for the fourth time in seven months, at his club on November 15, 2015.

On July 17, 2015, Canned Heat invited Jones to perform during their set at Ottawa Bluesfest in Ottawa, and on September 12, 2015, invited Jones to perform during their set at Southside Shuffle Jazz & Blues Festival in Mississauga, Ontario,

In Mar/Apr 2016, Jones performed in England, Scotland, and Wales, on his first UK Tour.

On September 6, Guy sang with JW-Jones at Buddy Guy's Legends, the fifth time they have performed together on stage. Later that month, Jones performed two shows in Argentina, the 23rd country in which he has performed.

Jones' ninth record, High Temperature, produced in Nashville by Colin Linden with liner notes written by Chuck Leavell, a touring musician with The Rolling Stones, was released onn October 28, 2016.

In November, JW-Jones' ninth release, High Temperature was named the "Hot Shot Debut" landing at No. 8 on the Billboard Top 10.[10] On February 4, 2017, High Temperature won "Best Self-Produced CD Award" in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge, representing the Ottawa Blues Society. It was selected as a top 5 finalist a month earlier out of over 90 entries from worldwide blues societies.

Chad Smith, drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers made a guest appearance with Jones at Blues On Whyte in Edmonton, Alberta, on May 27, 2017. The appearance led to radio interviews with Edmonton's Sonic 1029 and The Ryan Jespersen Show (Global News - 630 CHED)

On November 12, 2017, Buddy Guy sang with JW-Jones at Buddy Guy's Legends, and told him "I love the way you play, man" during the appearance. This was the sixth time they have performed together on stage.

'High Temperature' was nominated for Recording/Producer of the Year at Maple Blues Awards with Colin Linden, and Jones' longtime bassist, Laura Greenberg was nominated for Bass Player of the Year.

Acting and modelling[edit]

Jones has appeared in various acting roles on television; Bar Rescue (Spike TV) - season 3, episode 20, and commercials; Vinci tablet, Metropolitan Restaurant (Ottawa, Canada). He has done modelling for Indochino Suits and the high-tech company, Unify.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Result
1998 R&R Concerts Battle of the Bands Won
1999 Blues Guitar Riff-Off Best Blues Guitarist Won
2000 Maple Blues Awards Best New Artist Nominated
2001 Maple Blues Awards Best New Artist Nominated
2002 Maple Blues Awards Best New Artist Nominated
2004 Canadian Independent Music Awards Favourite Blues Artist/Group Nominated
Maple Blues Awards Electric Act of the Year Won
Recording of the Year - My Kind of Evil Nominated
Guitar Player of the Year Nominated
Producer of the Year (with Kim Wilson) Nominated
2006 Maple Blues Awards Recording of the Year - Kissing in 29 Days Nominated
2008 XPress Newspaper Awards - Ottawa Recording of the Year Nominated
House of Blues Radio Hour Blues Mobile Award - Recording of the Year Nominated
Maple Blues Awards Recording of the Year - Bluelisted Nominated
Guitar Player of the Year Nominated
International Songwriting Contest Song of the Year - "Looking the World Straight in the Eye" Nominated
2009 Blues 411 Awards Best Male Vocalist Won
Guitarist of the Year Nominated
2010 Maple Blues Awards Recording of the Year - Midnight Memphis Sun Nominated
2012 Maple Blues Awards Electric Act of the Year Nominated
2013 Wasser Prawda Awards Recording of the Year - Seventh Hour Nominated
2014 Blues 411 'Jimi' Awards International Release of the Year - Belmont Boulevard Nominated
Forty Under 40 Ottawa Business Journal / Chamber of Commerce Won
Maple Blues Awards Recording of the Year - Belmont Boulevard Nominated
Maple Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year Nominated
2015 Juno Award Blues Album of the Year - Belmont Boulevard Nominated
2017 International Blues Challenge Best Self-Produced CD Award Won
2017 Maple Blues Awards Recording/Producer of the Year - High Temperature with Colin Linden Nominated
2018 Maple Blues Awards Electric Act of the Year Nominated
2019 Independent Blues Awards Live Album of the Year Nominated


Solo releases[edit]

Year Title Genre Label Guests / Details
2000 Defibrillatin Blues NorthernBlues Music Pierre Chrétien was a band member for this recording
2002 Bogart's Bounce Blues NorthernBlues Music Kim Wilson (harp, vocals), Gene Taylor (piano), Roxanne Potvin (vocals)
2004 My Kind of Evil Blues NorthernBlues Music Colin James (vocals), Kim Wilson (harp, vocals, producer)
2006 Kissing in 29 Days Blues NorthernBlues Music David "Fathead" Newman (saxophone)
2008 Bluelisted Blues NorthernBlues Music Little Charlie Baty (guitar, harp), Junior Watson (guitar),
Richard Innes (drums), Larry Taylor (bass)[ambiguous]
Liner notes by Dan Aykroyd
2010 Midnight Memphis Sun Blues NorthernBlues Music Hubert Sumlin (guitar), Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica),
Richard Innes (drums), Larry Taylor (bass)[ambiguous]
2012 Seventh Hour Blues Solid Blues Records Mixed by Steve Dawson at Black Hen Music
2014 Belmont Boulevard Blues Blind Pig Records Produced by Tom Hambridge
2016 High Temperature Blues Solid Blues Records Produced by Colin Linden
2018 LIVE Blues Solid Blues Records Produced by JW-Jones and Zach Allen


  1. ^ a b "Blues Music: Top Blues Albums Chart". Billboard.com. November 8, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Forty Under 40". Ottawa Business Journal. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  3. ^ Billboard. April 2, 2005. p. 51. Retrieved May 18, 2014 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Aykroyd said this during a live performance with Jones at the Rainbow Bistro on September 2, 2005
  5. ^ "JW-Jones | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  6. ^ The Globe and Mail, May 13, 2004, page R3
  7. ^ "My Kind of Evil : JW-Jones". Allmusic.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  8. ^ Bret Kofford, "The JW-Jones Blues Band - A Rising Star Chases the Sound of Thunder(birds)", Blues Revue, April/May 2006, issue #99),
  9. ^ "Top 50 Canada Album Chart for the Week of Mar 11, 2015". Rootsmusicreport.com. March 11, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "JW-Jones - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-07-12.

External links[edit]