Soul-shaking saxophonist Eldon “T” Jones captivates audiences with his heartfelt playing and personal groove jazz style that he’s honed over the past twenty years with his quintet N Touch. Eldon brings feeling into a room through his passionate, skillful yet understated tenor sax playing. Pioneering saxophonists Grover Washington, Jr., Wilton Felder of the Crusaders, and Kirk Whalum have inspired his music which infuses gospel, R&B, and funk into a contemporary jazz gumbo.
As part of a music family, Eldon developed a love for music at a young age and began playing in his church. He studied music at Thomas Jefferson Performing Arts High School in Portland, Oregon, where he won awards in both classical music and jazz. From there, he advanced his education at Mt. Hood Community College, the pinnacle of jazz education in the Pacific Northwest.
In 1995, Eldon started N Touch with six other young musicians. In 2001, they released N’Touch which still rings true with fans today. The title track of the album was included on the jazz compilation In Celebration of Life and was ranked as a top 10 jazz track by Nu Flava Magazine who proclaimed that the album “empties the heart of its cares!” In 2015, Eldon contributed the song “Love Will Find a Way” to the Bespeak Love collaboration, which reached the Top 10 UK Soul Charts.
Eldon always celebrates his roots, and in addition to playing at music venues and festivals with N Touch, he plays saxophone in church congregations around Portland including his home church NE Community Fellowship Church, with Nehemiah Brown’s Sunday Gospel Broadcast, and with Four Winds One Voice out of San Francisco. Not only a reed player, he sings in the Northwest Community Gospel Choir which performs Gospel Christmas with the Oregon Symphony every year. Eldon also enjoys playing at non-profit and community events such as Shalanda Sims’s Vanport play, annual MLK tributes, and Portland Juneteenth Celebration.
Eldon values his role as a mentor and has provided a training ground for outstanding jazz cats who have come out of N Touch including percussionist Anthony Jones of the Pink Martini “little orchestra,” Darius Fentress who plays percussion for gospel singer Fred Hammond, and pianist Patrick Cooper.
N Touch’s current lineup consists of emergent artist Zack Poelwijk who grounds the group in gospel on keys, savvy vet Torry Ward who brings the funk on bass guitar, and Jonathan Schuler on guitar.
Eldon “T” Jones & N Touch have appeared on the nationally televised BET Jazz with saxophonist and host Mike Phillips. Eldon has performed with Grammy award-winning singer Yolanda Adams, legendary jazz bassist Leroy Vinegar, the “Godfather of Portland Jazz” Mel Brown, singer/songwriter Morris Chapman, trumpeter Farnell Newston, saxophonists Najee, Darren Rahn, and David Pack from Ambrosia, and pianists Ben Tankard and Darrell Grant. He has opened for Earth, Wind, & Fire and Tower of Power. Eldon has recorded with guitarist Walter Finch, Congregation of Antrax Records, Ray Tellis of Raada Music, and saxophonist Kevin Moore. He has performed at Jazz Alley (Seattle), Yoshi’s (Oakland), and Jimmy Mak’s and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Portland). He has performed at the Waterfront Blues Festival, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, Portland Rose Festival, (Oregon) Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival, Festival Sundiata, and the Jazz and Oyster Festival (Washington).
Eldon “T” Jones is sponsored by P. Mauriat and Marca Reeds and plays a PMXT – 66R tenor saxophone.
2007: With all My Heart