Billy Jonas Band / billy jonas

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Adult Programs

MUSIC FOR ADULTS/GENERAL AUDIENCES

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Exquisite harmonies, rollicking rhythms, soul-spelunking songs .... An expansive journey across vast landscapes of the heart, and rich wildernesses of imagination, where hope meets possibility.

From soothing ballads to powerfully polyrhythmic tunes; from laughter to soul stirring inspiration. With daring harmonies, and a mix of homemade "re-percussion" and conventional instruments (guitar, bass, marimba), all are invited to a realm of expanding boundaries, wonder, and life-affirming embrace. Click on the Look+Listen tab above for audio and video.

Concerts:
shows occur at festivals, theaters, clubs, universities, schools, synagogues, churches, conferences and retreat centers.
Workshops: master classes in our particular brand of style-blending, genre-bending funky folk music, and multi-voice harmony, as well as creating and playing non-traditional percussion. For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518-647-5916).

updated: 6 months ago

HOUSE CONCERTS

In addition to traditional venues, Billy Jonas & the BJB occasionally present concerts in people's homes. For some, it's the chance of a lifetime -- up close and personal with your favorite musicians and music. The intimate, relaxed and interactive experience of such a gathering is one that will never be forgotten!


How does a 'House Concert' work?
House Concerts are focused, seated, listening events -- very different than a party with live music. They usually occur in a large living room, or nearby private space such as a recreation room/commons of an apartment complex, studio, social hall, comfy barn, or private backyard. House Concerts are mostly (though not always) acoustic, and typically have 30 to 80 people depending on the space. Often they involve a potluck. Sometimes they are public, sometimes by invite only. People expect to pay to attend (unless the host has covered it), and to sit and listen. House concerts are a wonderful way to spend time with the artists, as well as to meet neighbors and folks with like-minded interests. There are as many variations on the theme as there are people hosting them!

For more info, or for booking, contact Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518.647.5916.

For general info about the idea of House Concerts, you can also visit: www.houseconcerts.com/about
If REALLY inspired to produce a great house concert, or to get a whole series going, here's a small “how-to” manual you can order: www.houseconcerts.com/hosting
- Another great resource: www.concertsinyourhome.com

updated: 6 months ago

OUR STYLE: HISTORY & EVOLUTION

updated: 6 months ago

MUSIC FOR FAMILIES / KIDS

"Our musical mission: to honor and empower the creativity,
inherent intelligence, and desire to learn in young folks, as well as their elders;
to inspire them, apart and together, to question and play --
and to see these two things as inseparable pathways to joy."
- Billy

Sophisticated fun for all ages....

Throw out the rules when the Billy Jonas Band takes the stage! It's a musical conversation, a sonic celebration, a splendiferous gathering of old and young, because the ensemble is ... EVERYONE. From beginning to end, participation is the name of the game.
"...irresistible.... my face hurts from smiling." - Alison Krauss
"...witty, smart, raw." - New York Times
Across North America and beyond, with multi-part vocal harmonies, guitar, industrial re-percussion, bass, marimba, and audience-engaging choreography. Featuring Billy, Ashley Jo Farmer, Sherman Hoover, and Juan Holladay. The Billy Jonas Band was honored with a 2010 concert at the White House!

updated: 6 months ago

CONCERTS


The Concert Experience

It's a "neo-tribal hootenanny" -- original "voice and percussion" -based songs with a generous dose of audience participation. The music mixes conventional instruments (guitar, bass, marimba) with homemade creations (using buckets and barrels, keys and cans, bells and body percussion). Billy tailors both his song selection and its presentation to uniquely suit each audience. It's spirited, straightforward music that is accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of age or cultural background. The big-tent festival quality of Billy's music facilitates connection and community while fostering inspiration and... most importantly... FUN.


Billy Jonas has shared stages with many renowned artists, including Alison Krauss, Peter Yarrow, Keb' Mo', Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, Paul Winter, Michele Shocked, Justin Bieber, Ani DiFranco, David Wilcox, Richard Thompson, and Pete Seeger. His upbeat, engaging presence encourages active audience participation. His concerts are a magical mix of stagecraft and wholesome, open-ended, anything-can- happen spontaneity. Billy Jonas offers family and adult oriented concerts, primarily with his three or four piece band. Billy's educational concerts include study guide materials and are usually booked in conjunction with a public performance in a community.

For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518-647-5916).

updated: 6 months ago

WORKSHOPS


The higly interactive texture of Billy's music naturally lends itself to classroom and other learning environments. Wanting to share his expertise, experence, and enthusiasm with global participants, Billy has developed a number of experiential workshops. These include:
  • Foraged, Found, and Homemade Instruments
  • Songwriting/Songmaking
  • Performance and Presence
  • Bangin' & Sangin' 101
  • Teacher Training
  • other custom workshops can be developed on request

For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518-647-5916).

updated: 6 months ago

ARTS IN EDUCATION

There are several different programs designed specifically for schools & education. Please see attachment below.

For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com).

updated: 6 months ago

HISTORY OF "FAMILY MUSIC"



Creating "Family Music" has been an evolving endeavor -- it started with WHAT KIND OF CAT ARE YOU?! in 2002.

After years working in the singer-songwriter genre, making adult-oriented music that kids seemed to like just as much as their parents, the songs on WHAT KIND OF CAT ARE YOU?! reflected a new but very natural direction -- making music focused on younger listeners. The surprise: adults would take us aside to say, "You know, I listen to that cd even when the kids aren't around."

This observation was taken to heart for the next family cd, HAPPY ACCIDENTS (2009). The songs are equally for adults and youth -- true "family" music.

Kids claimed it for their own, as did their parents, who thanked us for creating music they could listen to, singalong with, discuss, and equally enjoy together.


Our 2 family DVD/videos, BANGIN' & SANGIN' (2000), and EVERYBODY'S IN THE BAND (2005), spanned an epic haircut (see covers below), and offered a chance to see the "industrial re-percussion" instruments in action, and how the audience becomes part of the band.


BUILD IT BACK AGAIN carries the tradition forward. The music is written and recorded with a mission: to honor and empower the creativity,
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intelligence, and desire to learn in young folks, as well as their adults; to inspire them, apart and together, to question and play -- and to see these two things as inseparable, and as pathways to joy. Sophisticated, fun music, in the service of creating joy-filled individuals, families, and community. Yeah, we wanna change the world for the better -- 2 ears at at time.

updated: 6 months ago

Billy Jonas has been part of the Sacred Music Team and a cantorial soloist at Congregation Beth Ha Tephila in Asheville, NC since 2012. Through this work Billy has had the opportunity to combine and grow two important aspects of his life: Judaism and his love for music. He has been performing worldwide in both secular and faith-oriented contexts.

For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518-647-5916).

updated: 6 months ago

updated: 6 months ago

updated: 6 months ago

SCHOOL PROGRAMS - Elementary to College

Billy and the Billy Jonas Band believe that creating a bright future starts with kids. Using homemade and recyclable "re-percussion" instruments, songs that celebrate community, as well as personal and planetary ecology, their think-outside-the-box educational performances occur at schools, colleges, universities and libraries around the country. The goal: to plant musical seeds, that will help grow creative, open-minded, engaged and open-hearted citizens of the world.

Elementary Schools (K-5)

Concert: "Who's Gonna Make our Music?!" Participation is the name of the game. Concerts include sing-alongs, bang-alongs, and an improvised song with audience suggestions. Instruments include voice, guitar, and recycled "re-percussion." This show proves to each and every participant that they are indeed a musician. Themes include ecological awareness, community connection, personal responsibility, and various curriculum-related songs.
Workshop: "Music From Anything: Recyclable Object Instruments," "Bangin' & Sangin' 101," "Songwriting/Songmaking."
For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518.647.5916).

Middle School / High School
Concert: “The Troubadour Tradition." A concert, presented in lecture-demo style, the role of the singer / songwriter throughout history. Billy’s original songs and improvisation will help students gain an understanding of the role of the “musical historian / storyteller / news bearer” in various cultures throughout history, and to realize their own potential, and responsibility, to share their truth.
Workshops: “Performance Tools and Techniques,” “Songwriting/Songmaking”, “Bangin’ & Sangin’ 101”
For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518.647.5916).


Colleges / Universities
Concert:
"Heart Beat, Soul Beat, Drum Beat." Voice and percussion-based explorations of life and love, through a singer-songwriter lense. An engaging, sometimes participatory, often heart-warming, and always thought provoking collection of songs and stories that Dirty Linen Magazine has called "wild-winded word magic." As always, these performances feature a combination of experimental and homemade instruments, as well as adventurous use of voices, guitar, bass, and multicultural percussion.
Workshops: "Songwriting Master Class," "Performance Master Class," "Foraged, Found, and Freaky: Crafting Homemade Instruments." Participants in daytime workshops and residencies are invited to join the evening performance.
For more detailed information please contact Loyd Artists booking agency (Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518.647.5916).

updated: 6 months ago

Follow-up Questions

Coming Soon

updated: 10 months ago

Improvised Songs

Will be here soon.

updated: 10 months ago

Study Guides / Prep

updated: 10 months ago

BILLY JONAS BAND WITH ORCHESTRA

Step outside of the box, and into a glorious galaxy of polyphonic possibility....
A magical melodious melding of audience and orchestra,
a sonic celebration of community and creativity.....

Billy Jonas, with the Billy Jonas Band, brings his energetic and engaging brand of participatory folk music to a new level of sonic sophistication in his symphony collaborations. Augmenting Jonas’ multi-textured homemade "re-percussion," the orchestra, paired with Jonas’ songs and stories, gives a performance that is exciting both visually and aurally.

Jonas is known for his ability to bring the audience fully into the performance through his accessible songs and leadership from the stage, creating an artistically adventurous atmosphere enjoyed by all ages.

"Having worked with pop stars George Benson, Linda Ronstadt and Judy Collins, I can honestly say that Billy Jonas is a first class performer. His music is compelling, humorous, beautiful and brilliant! Our orchestral fusion concert with him was the highlight of our season."
- Ron Clearfield, Conductor and Music Director, Blue Ridge Orchestra, Asheville, NC

With 22 symphonic scores to choose from, Billy Jonas’ orchestral programs explore exciting new arrangements of Billy's songs, as well as bring new life to altered arrangements of Bach's "Jesu Joy" and Ravel's "Bolero," each performed with new, original lyrics composed and performed by Billy. Throughout all of the shows, audience members will be asked to variously sing-along, percuss-along, move-along (with choreographed hand-motions), and for the finale, kazoo-along with the Billy Jonas Band and the orchestra. Concerts offer plenty of room to personalize the show with antics, unique homemade instruments, added voices and dance.

"Billy Jonas' concert with the orchestra was exceptional, and drew the largest
audience they have had in our theatre. He's a wonderfully talented musician who
quickly establishes a rapport across all ages. An extreme pleasure to have him!"

- John Ellis, Managing Director, Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, NC

If you want to reach out to new audience, find unique collaborations, and present performances offering something new and totally different, Billy Jonas and the Billy Jonas Band have three offerings to shake it up! (some of the pieces can occur in more than one program):

updated: 3 months ago

OFFERINGS

1. Family/Educational Concert

Vitamin Alphabet - audience participation with sign language and guess-along rhymes: “Vitamin G comes from Grandparents, who tuck you in snug; vitamin H is what you get when they give you a....HUG!”

Nocturnal - audience participation, using hand motions and soft sounds of nocturnal animals. Imagine the audience orchestra snapping their fingers quickly for 10 seconds to create... crickets.

Happy Accident - the story of 4 wonderfully successful inventions that started out as no-so-happy accidents.

Eyes Wide Open - audience participation with a simple refrain and hand motion; a song inviting folks to remain open to miracles at any moment.

What Kind of Cat are You?! - sing-along and guess-along game song, and a guaranteed audience pleaser: “What kind of cat has the first name Tom?.... TOM CAT. And what kind of cat is connected to the engine of your car?.... CATALYTIC CONVERTER.”

Some Houses - an exquisite example of audience orchestration. Four different instruments are created from the materials in the immediate environs of each audience member; they learn their parts as the song progresses.

Old St. Helen - audience participation, singing and hand motions on the chorus. Teaches the history of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helen.

‘Wake Up’ Suite: Gotta Get Up, Two Minute Shower, Eat Something, Brush Your Teeth, Totally Ready to Go - a 5 song mini-operetta, tracing the trials and tribulations of a young persons’ morning rituals.


2. Pops Concert

Joy (based on Bach's "Jesu Joy") - audience participation singing on the chorale section. Billy's version preserves the original along with the chorale in English, and adds a fun personal twist by weaving new lyrics around those of the chorale, telling the story of a speeding ticket, and a moral quandry....

Let You Love Me - a song for opening the heart.

Into the Water - with heavy percussion: What happens when one receives the gift of encountering their greatest fear?

Holy Ground - a polyrhythmically robust invocation and invitation to consider the concept of Holy Ground and our perceived alienation from it. Includes baritone marimba and special handbells played by Billy and his ensemble.

You are Not Alone - a song that celebrates connection -- to one's own deep heart, to one's community and environment, and to the great beyond.

Bolero 2.0 -
music by Ravel, lyrics by Billy Jonas. Billy’s lyrics serve as a musicological explication of the piece, and of Ravel’s life. The arrangement ends with a surprise audience sing-along and then kazoo-along. Happy Accidents, Some Houses, Eyes Wide Open, What Kind of Cat are You?!, Old St. Helen, see descriptions above.

3. Holiday Concert (multifaith)

The Turkey That Got Away - the story of a Thanksgiving turkey that escapes, and, in its subsequent journey from house to house, observes multiple holiday traditions (Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Diwali - the Hindu festival of lights).

Let There Be Light - alternately a song of re-emergence from places of personal challenge, of being proactive in the face of adversity, of the birth of the cosmos, and a celebration of all festivals of light (Hannukah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwaanza, Diwali).

Christmas Medley - a flexibile array of songs including Silent Night, Good King Wenseslas, Oh Tannenbaum, and Oh Holy Night. Other traditional Chrismas songs can be swapped in as well, and any of the pieces can be done individually.

Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah - traditional. A happy sing-along in a minor key -- imagine that!

Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Little Candles) - by Flory Jagoda. A beautiful “Ladino” song (Judeo-Spanish), celebrating the candles lit during the eight days of Hanukkah.

What Wondrous Love Is This/Arabic song/Hebrew song - traditional, arranged by Linda Metzner. Three emotional, heartfelt songs of peace and hope from Islam, Christianity, and Judaism that weave together.

Sanctuary - by Randy Scruggs and John W. Thompson. A simple two-line sing-along that invokes the real reason for the season: "Love prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for you."

You are Not Alone, Eyes Wide Open, Joy, Holy Ground - see descriptions above.

“Billy’s complex rhythmic structures, unique stage presence, and textured storytelling, combined with audience participation made me realize we must work with him! His high energy performance is a perfect match for any orchestra looking to captivate and grow their audience, and allow their players to have a great time!”
- Liza Grossman, Conductor and Music Director, Contemporary Youth Orchestra, Cleveland OH

“Working with Billy Jonas and The Billy Jonas Band is a musical treat both for the orchestra musician and the audience, young and old. His works are interesting and clever, and the orchestrations are all of high quality. I look forward to further collaboration!”
- David Teague, Principal Double Bass, The Blue Ridge Orchestra

updated: 3 months ago

HOST ONE IN YOUR HOME

In addition to traditional venues, Billy Jonas & the BJB occasionally present concerts in people's homes. For some, it's the chance of a lifetime -- up close and personal with your favorite musicians and music. The intimate, relaxed and interactive experience of such a gathering is one that will never be forgotten!


How does a 'House Concert' work?
House Concerts are focused, seated, listening events -- very different than a party with live music. They usually occur in a large living room, or nearby private space such as a recreation room/commons of an apartment complex, studio, social hall, comfy barn, or private backyard. House Concerts are mostly (though not always) acoustic, and typically have 30 to 80 people depending on the space. Often they involve a potluck. Sometimes they are public, sometimes by invite only. People expect to pay to attend (unless the host has covered it), and to sit and listen. House concerts are a wonderful way to spend time with the artists, as well as to meet neighbors and folks with like-minded interests. There are as many variations on the theme as there are people hosting them!

For more info, or for booking, contact Susan@LoydArtists.com, 518.647.5916.

For general info about the idea of House Concerts, you can also visit: www.houseconcerts.com/about
If REALLY inspired to produce a great house concert, or to get a whole series going, here's a small “how-to” manual you can order: www.houseconcerts.com/hosting
- Another great resource: www.concertsinyourhome.com

For general info about the idea of House Concerts, you can also visit: www.houseconcerts.com/about
If REALLY inspired to get a whole series going, or just to produce the best house concert in the world, there’s a small “how-to” manual you can order: www.houseconcerts.com/hosting
- Another great resource: www.concertsinyourhome.com


updated: 6 months ago

CELEBRATING DIFFERENT TRADITIONS

Billy and the Billy Jonas Band LOVE working with different faith communities, especially when it involves more than one religiion at the same time. Their songs are born out of a deep reverence for all expressions of spirituality. They seek to enhance whatever gathering or worship context has invited them, and their programs are tailored to the specific needs and demographics of those present. At the core of each and every event: an acknowledgement of the beauty and wisdom in each separate path, and a celebration of the Oneness connecting them all.

ABRAHAM JAM
"A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a concert hall...." For real! Abraham Jam is the brainchild of singer/songwriter and peace activist David LaMotte. Since 2015 Billy has been a member, dedicated to fostering dialogue, understanding, and celebration among folks from the three "Abrahamic" faiths. Each concert and/or workshop features a trio consisting of professional musicians from each tradition. Instead of alternating in the sharing of their songs, they participate in making music together, embodying their respect and affection for each other, rather than just talking about it. Members of Abraham Jam have included Dawud Wharnsby, Dan Nichols, David LaMotte, and Billy. For more detailed information contact susan@loydartists.com.




updated: 3 weeks ago