Billy Jonas

Throw out the rules when the Billy Jonas Band hits the stage! It's a musical conversation… a sonic celebration … a splendiferous gathering of old and young, because at a Billy Jonas Band show, the ensemble is… everyone!

About the band...
"My favorite instrument is the audience. I work to 'tribalize' the compositions … to create songs that provide an immediate opportunity for the listener to join in."
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– Billy Jonas
Featuring the supreme talents of ...
Billy Jonas (vocals, guitar, re-percussion) -- originally from Chicago, Billy has lived in Asheville for 21 years. His first ensemble, the Oberlin Big Bang Theory, was the testing ground for his brand of recyclable, homemade instruments, and neo-tribal hootenanny-ism; Billy honed his songwriting and singing skills in the duo The Billys in the '90s, and subsequently has performed both solo and with The Billy Jonas Band.

•Ashley Jo Farmer (vocals, re-percussion) – adds an exciting vocal dimension to Billy's music with creative, flawless harmonies. An awesome singer/songwriter and band leader in her own right, with the Ashley Jo Farmer Band, she is quickly becoming a political firebrand and festival favorite.

•Sherman Hoover (vocals, bass, marimba, re-percussion) –  Sherman holds down the funky bottom for the band while adding his own innovative harmonies. An extraordinary multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and songwriter, he is often invited to sit in with some of Asheville's finest bands and musicians.

•Juan Holladay (vocals, re-percussion) -- Juan is a mover and groover, adding sweet and smokey tenor harmonies.  His own band, The Secret B Sides, has been repeatedly voted #1 Soul Band AND #1 R&B / Blues Band in Western North Carolina.

Fun for All Ages
Billy Jonas is one of those rare performers who can engage and delight both young and adult audiences.  Billy's clear tenor voice is well-suited to a plethora of venues, from intimate settings and workshop sessions to large halls and outdoor festivals. For more than two decades, his creative and interactive performances have enchanted and inspired folks from all walks of life — touching hearts, souls, and minds world-wide .  As a founding member of the acclaimed duo "The Billys," Billy Jonas has made innovative use of "found objects." He helps audiences discover the music within common items … and within themselves.

Billy Jonas' recordings and live concerts across the US and Canada have generated an enthusiastic following. His CD "What Kind of Cat are You?!" received multiple awards including a First Place/Gold from AFIM (American Federation of Independent Musicians), and a Parent's Choice Gold.  Jonas' videos have garnered critical acclaim, including Parents Choice Awards and a New York Times "Best" listing. In 2010 he was invited to present a concert at the White House!

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.

The Workshop Experience
The highly interactive texture of Billy's music naturally lends itself to workshop environments. Wanting to share his expertise, experience, and enthusiasm with global participants, Billy has developed a number of popular, in- demand workshops. Each focuses on a different component of his
lively music. These include:
•Foraged, Found, and Homemade Instruments
•Performance and Presence
•Neo-tribal Hootenanny 101
•Teacher Training
•plus, other custom workshops can be developed
on request

Quotes from others on Billy's Jonas Band music
"It was AMAZING!!! He is a creative music genius that brings music to life! I love that how the audience was part of the show."
- Q Manor, Totsradio, Georgia

"...catchy compositions ... a full range of vocal and instrumental mastery ... and the lyrics do more than instruct and educate. They ... communicate profound messages of determination, maintaining humanity”

"Jonas and company have mastered a near perfect blend of great music and playfully educational messages."
- Lahri Bond, Parents' Choice Children's Media & Toy Reviews

"…the arch-elf of American music…"
- Charleston Gazette

"He engages the audience with a wild assortment of rhythm and word play that usually leaves them both entertained, and a little more in touch with their spiritual selves. He teaches, through experience, that music is everywhere."
- Sing Out! Magazine

"Billy Jonas' talent, wit and obvious love for children and learning make him and his music irresistible. Whenever I see him perform, my face hurts from smiling."
- Alison Krauss

"While others … have tried to distinguish themselves with fashion or gimmicks, Billy Jonas uses genuine originality and a style that evolved naturally from his experience, to create memorable music that is both intellectually fascinating and frequently danceable, all the while avoiding the cliches."
- George Graham (public radio host/music reviewer)


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updated: 1 year ago