Thelma mesmerizes her audience with energy, passion and that elusive quality known as ‘soul’. Whether singing a jazz standard, a blues tune or one of her own much-loved pop/R&B recordings, Thelma Jones infuses each performance, be it in the recording studio or live onstage, with the same innate soulfulness. With roots in gospel, a longstanding love for the country music of artists like Hank Williams and for the blues work artists such as B. B. King and T-Bone Walker, the North Carolina- native has developed her own distinctive style, drawing on such influences but always adding her own special touch.
Certainly, through her distinguished career, Thelma Jones has consistently shown that there are no limits to her musicality. She started her career at The Apollo Theater’s amateur night under T-Bone Walker’s advice after hearing her rendition of Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Him So”. Thelma then signed with Barry records and recorded several singles including “Never Leave Me”, which made it to the R&B charts. That led to her ‘official’ guest appearance at The Apollo which is where she met the late Big Maybelle. Thelma says, “She took me under her wing and became a real mentor for me and that’s why, these days, I include a tribute to her in my ‘live’ shows.” She then appeared with such artists as The O’Jays, Otis Redding, Jerry Butler, The Intruders, Walter Jackson, Brook Benton, The Vibrations, James Brown, Howard Tate and even Gladys Knight (& The Pips). In 1976, she signed with Columbia Records after singing a ‘live’ version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”.
With credits that include a Levi’s commercial, videos with Jackson Browne and saxophonist Najee and an ovation-induced performance at the famed “Divas Simply Singing” concert in Los Angeles, Thelma Jones has created a loyal and strong following. Her audiences are touched by her always real, moving live performances. Thelma’s latest recording “Law Of Old” with John Heussenstamm, with its contemporary blues, jazz and R&B sound, promises to expand Thelma’s growing audience worldwide; it is a true musical treat, a testament to her enduring talent and her soulful artistry.