Fred Jones is a Grammy award-winning Oklahoman with experience in every facet of the music industry. During his 25-year music career, he’s worked as tour manager, production manager, promoter and more. His latest endeavor, the Black Wall Street Music Project, has received local and national recognition, including write-ups in the Tulsa World and Billboard.
How did you get started?
I was part of the first group of voluntary magnet students in 1972 to integrate Tulsa Public Schools; diversity and inclusion are my foundation. I’ve always had music in my heart. I was first chair at Carver Middle School during junior high, and my three titles stuck throughout my time in school: student/athlete/musician. I simply fell in love with basketball in high school but, I’m glad I had music in my heart because it has come back in a monumental way.
Did you always want a career in the music industry?
I always wanted to be a tv sports journalist, working in the music industry was never a thought that I entertained holistically. I’m the kind of person that always keeps doors open, I spent my college summer of 1984 at Total Experience Recording (which at the time was the home of Tulsa’s Gap Band) and the CEO Lonnie Simmons would take me for long rides in his Rolls Royce and share his knowledge of the recording industry. It was like he knew someday I would be coming back to music. It was like a three-month crash course in music. I really appreciate those times when I hit Hollywood with Wayman Tisdale and Motown in the mid 90’s. I was fully armed and ready.
What is your role in the music industry?
I’ve been a production manager, a tour manager, a promoter, a public relations and marketing executive, a regional representative, and currently Executive Producer during my 25-year music career.
Most Recent Successes / Placements / Accomplishments / Accolades / Projects? Career highlight?
One of my greatest moments was winning a Grammy with Jill Scott on Hidden Beach Recordings on her “Golden” project. Another great moment was hosting the second largest press release in the history of Motown Records LA.
What is your favorite Oklahoma music venue, music store, or recording studio?
My favorite music venue in Oklahoma is the BOK Center Tulsa. I’ve seen some awesome shows there and the venue sound system is great!
Networking and connecting with others who share your dream or vision is a vital aspect to the music industry. Can you share which Oklahoma organizations (if any) have contributed to your success and are there Oklahoma organization you would recommend other connect with? To help further their craft or promotion?
There have been several organizations that have contributed to my success on this recent project of the Hille Foundation (Kadjeer and Maggie Yar), Cherokee Nation (Joe Deere), Osage Nation (Byron Bighorse), Troupe21 (Guy Troupe), The Wayman Tisdale Foundation (Regina Tisdale), Spirit Bank (Melvin Gilliam) and my mentor Nancy McDonald.
How can we follow you?
- Instagram: @1921bwsmp
- Facebook (/1921BWSMP)
- Google: #1921BWSMP or @1921BWSMP
- Black Wall Street website
- One Tulsa website
Best place to purchase and listen to your music (if applicable)?
Our music is available on all digital platforms.
Advice for someone interested in working in the music industry.
Be original and be patient.
What are some of the benefits of having a music career in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma has always had it own brand of music, its own sound and as we move forward as a state hopefully our project continues to move people’s hearts to promote a better Greenwood, a better Tulsa and a better Oklahoma.