Leslie Ann Jones

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Leslie Ann Jones
Leslie Ann Jones at work mixing
United States
Occupation(s)Recording engineer, record producer
Parent(s)Spike Jones, Helen Grayco

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, and in 2018 was inducted into the TEC Awards Hall of Fame.[2] 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 Tormé, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. She was given a Sears Silvertone electric guitar and played in a band beginning 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.[3] 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.[4] Her favorite music is big band.[5]

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.[6] 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 Studios. 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.[7]

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 in 1975.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

Jones has produced a number of recordings that feature women musicians, from small regional groups like Montclair Women's Big Band[11] 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.


In 2018, Jones was inaugurated in the TEC Awards’ Hall of Fame as part of the NAMM Show.

Career chronology[edit]


Grammy Awards & Nominations
Year Category Title Note
2003 Best Engineered Album, Classical Bach: The Piano Transcriptions Of Bartók, Lipatti & Friedman Nomination
2003 Best Chamber Music Performance Berg: Lyric Suite Win
2005 Best Jazz Vocal Album Good Night, And Good Luck. Win
2006 Best Engineered Album, Classical Látigo Nomination
2010 Best Engineered Album, Classical Porter, Quincy: Complete Viola Works Win
2013 Best Surround Sound Album Signature Sound Opus One Nomination
2013 Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical The Blue Room Nomination
2015 Best Engineered Album, Classical Ask Your Mama Win
2019 Best Engineered Album, Classical Sun Rings, Kronos Quartet Win
2021 Best Immersive Audio Album Soundtrack of the American Soldier Win
2022 Best Engineered Album, Classical Chanticleer Sings Christmas Win


Music albums[edit]

Film sound[edit]

TV shows[edit]

5.1 DVD concert sound[edit]

Video game scores[edit]


  1. ^ Hamlin, Jesse. "Grammy winner's sound advice", San Francisco Chronicle (2007-02-09): "On Sunday night, she may score her third Grammy...."
  2. ^ https://www.prosoundweb.com/channels/recording/leslie-ann-jones-to-be-inducted-into-namm-tec-hall-of-fame/?eid=342588446&bid=2272291[dead link]
  3. ^ Gaar, Gillian G. (2002). She's a rebel: the history of women in rock & roll (2 ed.). Seal Press. p. 142. ISBN 1-58005-078-6.
  4. ^ Maureen Droney. "Leslie Ann Jones: DOING IT ALL" Mix magazine online, August 1, 1999 Archived February 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Women of NASA. "Archive of Chat with Leslie Ann Jones" Archived 2008-09-22 at the Wayback Machine April 23, 1998
  6. ^ "Studio Recording - Pro Sound Web".
  7. ^ Women in NASA. "Leslie Ann Jones bio" Archived 2008-09-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Leslie Ann Jones- Having the Courage to Raise Your Hand". SoundGirls.org. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  9. ^ "Board of Directors - Women's Audio Mission". Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  10. ^ Women in NASA: 6th Annual Virtual Take Our Daughters To Work Day (2001) Archived 2006-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Montclair Women's Big Band: players Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Leslie Ann Jones - Skywalker Sound". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  13. ^ "News, reviews, interviews and more for top artists and albums – MSN Music". Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  14. ^ "Leslie Ann Jones - Skywalker Sound". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  15. ^ "Leslie Ann Jones: Games Credited". Moby Games. GameFlyMedia.com. Retrieved June 25, 2011.

External links[edit]