Thursday, April 12, 2007

Billy Jonas - Industrial Re-precussionist Extraordinaire

How often does a two year old introduce his mother to her newest favorite recording artist? Not often when the daily disc rotation is Barney, Dora the Explorer, and the Alphabet Song. But every once in a while a miracle happens, like popping a Billy Jonas DVD into the player and discovering a myrid of sound, visual rythym, and lyric that is so unique the adults in the room stop everything to listen.

That's what happened in our house the first time we watched Bangin' and Sangin', a musical experience meant for young audiences. We watched, mouths agape as Billy Jonas made music with instruments made of recycles pots, plastic barrels, buckets and Bungee cords. My personal favorite are the drumsticks duct-taped to his Vans, allowing him to play percussion with his feet.

The Fayetteville Morning News said about the Asheville, NC artist, a Billy Jonas performance is an explosion of energy. In singalongs, bangalongs, whisperalongs, as well as improvised songs, his primary instrument is the audience. Everyone becomes part of the performance that reaches out and touches even the most hardened of hearts.

My toddler is known to spontaneously yell, "Are you in the band? Yes I am!" This being his favorite Billy "call and response".

What makes Billy Jonas more than unique is his ability to teach through music without being preachy about recycling, health, and our connection to the environment. When the audience finally stops smiling and humming, the lyrics stay inside them and they begin to mull over the bigger concepts. Maybe I do have an important role to play in life. Maybe what I do really matters.

Billy also makes music for big people, aka. grown-ups. With his background in anthropology, commitment to religious inclusiveness, and interest in tribal dynamics, he builds music that is thoughtful yet fun. His musical motto is, "I believe music can happen anywhere, anytime, with anyone, and anything. We are all musicians, we are all part of the band."

He stated in an interview with Ear Candy Magazine that his vision and wish is that his concerts will prove his motto as sonorously as possible.

Billy Jonas music brings people together, tuning them into a collective instrument vibrating with a message of hope.

One fan commented, "It is important for people like Billy who perform to audiences to keep the hope alive that we can all live in a more peaceful and equitable world."

In the words of a toddler, "Billy Jonas, please, mommy!"

Visit or MySpace Music, keyword Billy Jonas, to learn more about this dynamic performer.

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