Saxophonist Eldon “T” Jones touches the hearts of audiences with his profoundly genuine playing and his own groove jazz style he’s honed with his band N Touch.
As part of a musical 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 and jazz. From there, he advanced his education at Mt. Hood Community College, the pinnacle of jazz education in the Pacific Northwest. Saxophonists Grover Washington, Jr., Wilton Felder of the Crusaders, and Kirk Whalum inspired his playing.
In 1995, Eldon started N Touch, which grew to a septet by 1998. 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. In 2018, the sold out N Touch Reunion Show brought back the original band members and featured musicians from every era of N Touch.
Eldon values his role as a mentor and has provided a training ground for outstanding musicians including his brother Anthony Jones (Pink Martini), Chris Turner (Prince), Darius Fentress (Fred Hammond), and pianist Patrick Cooper. N Touch’s current lineup consists of emergent artist Zack Poelwijk who grounds the group in gospel on keyboard, savvy vet Torry Ward who brings the funk on bass guitar, Jonathan Schuler on bluesy guitar, and Charles Tellis with a finesse approach to drums.
Eldon continues to play in church and can be found performing at community events such as the Oregon Symphony’s Gospel Christmas, Good N the Hood, the plays Who I Am Celebrating Me and Vanport the Musical, events supporting Stomp Out Abuse, Self Enhancement, Inc. and Black Parent Initiative, and World Arts Foundation, Inc.’s annual MLK Tribute where in 2017 Eldon received a lifetime achievement award recognizing his music as a blessing to the community.
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 Newton, saxophonists Najee, Darren Rahn, and David Pack from Ambrosia, and pianists Ben Tankard and Darrell Grant. The group 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 Portland venues Jimmy Mak’s, the Alberta Rose Theatre, and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. He has performed at the Waterfront Blues Festival, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, Portland Rose Festival, Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival, Festival Sundiata, and the Jazz and Oyster Festival.
Eldon “T” Jones endorses Marca Reeds and P. Mauriat and plays a PMXT – 66R tenor saxophone.
2007: With all My Heart
2015: Bespeak Love (Contributor)