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Meet Mike Jones of Groove Centric in Metro Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Jones.

The Groove Centric band was started in 2008 in Atlanta, GA. They have since grown to a trendsetting group playing all around the city at venues such as The Velvet Note,The Vista Room, Venkmans, City Winery, St. James Live, Churchill Grounds, the legendary Paschal’s Restaurant, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint, The Artmore Hotel, Jazz Café, Acoustix Jazz Restaurant, Ambiance Lounge, The Jazz Loft, Michon’s Loft and many more. They have also performed to excited audiences in surrounding cities at venues such as The Perfect Note, Blues Boulevard, Chayz Lounge, The House of Blues, Good Times Jazz Club and Savoy Restaurant. Groove Centric has expanded their musical reach by providing melodic entertainment for many corporate events. Collectively, they have played with artists such as Mandisa, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Jennifer Holliday, Mike Phillips, Monica, Musiq Soulchild, Jimmy Heath, India Arie, Jeff Lorber, Oliver Lake, Mighty Blues Kings, Sonny Emory, and Al Green to name a few. Their familiarity with a myriad of styles became recognizable and by 2009, the band was invited to headline several jazz festivals in which they continue to participate in annually throughout the US such as the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Soca Wine and Jazz festival, Gwinett Jazz Festival, Neighborhood Music Fest, the Tallahassee French Town Music Day and Jonesboro Food Truck and Music Fest. Their evolution has given way to music that is now a complete embodiment of jazz, neo-soul, R&B, blues, pop, and funk.

As adept musicians, Groove Centric will take you on a ride beginning with sounds reminiscent of a classic Miles Davis tune, transition to the smooth sounds of Jill Scott and end by leaving you grooving to head-bopping funk like that of James Brown and Earth Wind and Fire. Groove Centric’s mission is to captivate you with their eclectic blend of R&B, jazz, and blues and leave you yearning for more. The band members are Mike Jones on sax, Keith Barnes on guitar, Joel Powell on bass and Brien Andrews on drums. Their debut album Crossing Bridges is now available for purchase on all digital outlets as well as physical copies at upcoming shows and by contacting them via their website at www.groovecentricmusic.com. Follow them on Instagram @groovecentric, Facebook www.facebook.com/groovecentric, twitter @groovecentric. Their sophomore album currently being recorded is due Spring 2019.

Michael Jones

Affectionately known in the music industry as “Mike Jones”, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. Born and raised in Dekalb County. Mike furthered his education by attending Florida A&M University where he was a drum major in the illustrious Marching 100. Mike is a skilled musician having played with bands locally, nationally, as well as internationally.

Mike’s portfolio includes playing and recording for several award-winning performers in the Jazz, R&B and Gospel industry including Cameo, Grammy award winning Kirk Whalum, Ben Tankard, Grammy award winning Sim Stevenson, Angie Stone, John P Kee, jazz guitarist Tim Bowman, Jimmy Heath, Oliver Lake, Ruben Studdard, Byron Cage, Mighty Blues Kings, and Ike Stubblefield to name a few. He is currently the leader of Groove Centric in which a debut album is expected early spring of 2016.

Keith Barnes

A native of Atlanta, picked up his first guitar at age 12. He played with various rock bands until the age of 16, when he took his first guitar lesson with Robert Newton in Columbia, South Carolina. It was here he was introduced to Jazz and Music Theory. It was that exposure that ignited a deep passion for all genres of music, including: Jazz, Fusion, Classical, Flamenco and Blues. He spent the next several years learning everything he could about the guitar.

After moving back to Atlanta, he began studying with Steve Freeman, founder of Atlanta Institute of Music (A.I.M.). Keith began teaching private lessons and playing various Jazz clubs throughout the Atlanta area. Keith was hired by Steve Freeman as a teacher at A.I.M., which involved instructing students and writing curriculum, alongside instructors such as Jimmy Herring.

Over the years, Keith has recorded and performed with numerous artists, including Little John Roberts, Joey Sommerville, and Kevin Griffin.

Brien Andrews

Electrifies audiences across the globe with his savvy, mastered and proficient artistic styling. Brien has the ability to play a vast repertoire of music and it is this diversity that makes him a preferred musician. He has mesmerized audiences all over the world with his supreme expertise.

He began playing as early as age 4, this love and passion led to the beginning of a career playing drums in studios, churches, jazzclubs, international venues and all across the United States. Brien has accompanied many great artists such as “Dreamgirl” Jennifer Holliday, Kelly Price, Monica, and Gospel Greats: Pastor Donnie McClurkin, LaShun Pace, Ted & Sherie, and PJ Morton and Tyler Perry.

Joel Powell

Born and raised in Albany, GA has been active on Atlanta’s music scene for nearly ten years. He has toured internationally with the likes of India.Arie, Musiq Soulchild, Les Nubian and a host of others. Joel has recorded and performed with a host of artist… from T.I. to Jennifer Holliday, Mike Phillips to Jay-Z, Two Chains to Karen Briggs.

Joel and his wife, Nobella reside in Atlanta, GA with their cane Corso, Cain.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the largest challenges that we face is coordinating schedules. Because most of us were already established musicians, we are connected with many different amazing opportunities and musicians. We really try to prioritize our own activity from rehearsing to recording and performing but often times due to conflicts it is very difficult to coordinate. When we are all free we try to take full advantage.

Please tell us about Groove Centric.
Groove Centric is a jazz band that specializes in music from many different genres. They have a wide range of influences from gospel, traditional jazz, and blues, to funk, fusion and Latin. That’s one of the attributes that set them apart from other bands. Their ability to maneuver through the different styles has become what audiences expect from their shows. Also, the sound of the band attracts many followers. The group consists of sax, guitar, bass, and drums… no keys. That allows the guitar and bass player to freely and independently produce the unique sound their audiences are accustomed to hearing.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Heather Lashon, Saquata Faust, Xavier Lewis

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