Best known to millions of TV viewers as a top four finalist during the 2007 season of “American Idol,” LaKisha Jones is ready to reclaim center stage in music, theatre and television.
Her last album, “So Glad I’m Me” was full of Jones’ expressive, full-bodied and arresting vocals, the same voice that electrified “American Idol” viewers with the Dreamgirls showstopper “And I Am Telling You” and later the Broadway stage in the Oprah Winfrey produced, Tony Award-winning musical, The Color Purple.
Having worked with hit-making songwriters and producers including Tony Nicholas (Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross), Ro & Sauce (Brandy, Ne-Yo) and Greg Curtis (Keyshia Cole, Yolanda Adams), Jones’ album featured a spirited mix of R&B and soul. A few noteworthy songs included the single “Same Song,” penned by award-winning songwriter Dianne Warren, Whitney Houston’s “You Give Good Love,” the gospel song “Just As I Am,” and Jones soaring ballad to her daughter, “Beautiful Girl.”
Her drive and motivation dates back to her childhood in Flint, Michigan. Raised by her mother and grandmother, Jones was exposed to music by legendary singers such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, with her grandmother urging the young girl to “let your voice shine” thereby prompting Jones to sing in church choirs and music programs. Joining various chorale groups and a cappella choruses throughout high school, Jones entered and won the top prize at Flint’s local talent contest, The Super Show in 1997.
A two-year stint studying vocal performance at the University of Michigan left the high school graduate craving to sing more. She relocated to various cities (Dallas, Houston and Virginia Beach) to pursue her dream as a singer. Jones then went to New York to audition for “American Idol” and made it to the 2007 season, where she became the fourth finalist. She segued from “Idol” to the Broadway stage for The Color Purple where she played two roles: that of a “church lady” and of the pivotal character “Sophia.” The latter role she alternated with R&B icon Chaka Khan, who became her mentor. Jones participated in Khan’s 35th Anniversary Tour. Following her Broadway stint, Jones provided vocal coaching on MTV’s reality competition “Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods,” a show designed to find and hone Broadway’s next star.
A frequent soloist with symphony around the world, Ms. Jones has performed as a guest soloist with the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony and Opera, Winnipeg Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Windham Chamber Singers, Grand Rapids Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Long Bay Symphony and the Festival Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.