I've talked about Koko Jones, my seriously talented musical sis from time to time on the blog and had the pleasure of doing one of my TransGriot Ten Questions interviews with her.
How talented is she? Talented enough for this Jersey girl over her four decades in the music biz to have performed with some of the most recognizable names in the pop, R&B, jazz, house and African music worlds.
Jones has either performed or recorded as a first call musician with the Isley Brothers, Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Angela Winbush, Raul Midon, Marcus Miller, Randy Weston, Jose Feliciano, Buddy Miles, Clarence Burke, Louie Vega, Luisito Quintero, Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child, DJ Kenny Dope, Archie Shepp, and Reggie Workman.
And now you'll have something to look forward to during TDOR Week in terms of her 'Who's That Lady' LP dropping on that date..
The timing of the release of the album near that date is not an accident. As a girl like us who happens to be a musician, several of the tracks on this upcoming album release on Motema Music reflect either personal or universal issues facing the trans community:
“Why” honors those trans individuals who have lost their lives due to violence or suicide and “Turn It” pays tribute to the heroes, past and present, who strive for civil rights, justice and equality. “I’m Free” celebrates the joy of reveling in who you really are despite societal norms and constraints. And “Xtravaganzas” pays homage to the House of Xtravaganza, one of the most important cultural institutions in the trans community.
While she has always handled her business as a musician first and foremost, she has had an ongoing parallel role as an activist and a voice in the trans community. In addition to Koko’s ground-breaking work as an interventionist at the Center for HIV Education Studies and Training (CHEST) at Hunter College, where she is a part of T-Talk, a project delivered by trans women for trans women that seeks to reduce sexual health risk, substance use, and internalized stigma affecting the community.
Koko frequently speaks at events, and recently gave a TEDx talk at Seton Hall University and delivered a lecture on Current Issues in the Trans Community at Columbia University Teachers College. She is also an active member of Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC)
But it's time for peeps to get to know Koko Jones in her primary role as an extraordinary musician
Those of you in the New York area can check her out on December 1 at her CD release show that will start at 8 PM EST at Sub Culture. The venue is located at 45 Bleeker St, and if you're looking for more info hit the link or call 212-533-5470.
And yeah, Christmas and Hanukkah are coming up, so why not purchase 'Who's That Lady?' and kill two birds with one stone at the same time? You buy a gift for someone (or keep it for your own music collection), keep our T-bills circulating in our community, and support a fantastic musician at the same time.