Photos: Thomas Bollmann
Since his days as a member of the JUNO Award-winning group In Essence, Toronto’s Sean Jones has been a trailblazer within the Canadian soul and r&b scene. On his new solo album, Take Me—released June 22—Jones has crafted a classic sound that pays tribute to some of his primary influences such as Sam Cooke and Donny Hathaway.
An extension of Sean’s hugely successful Soul In The City summer residency at Toronto’s historic Casa Loma, Take Me reflects the sounds audiences have embraced during the series each year. On June 18, Soul in the City will return for its fourth consecutive year in conjunction with the album release.
The other big inspiration for Take Me was the birth of Jones’ first child in 2017, which led him to write what became the album’s title track. As an expression of pure love and joy, “Take Me” encapsulates the overall message Jones wanted to convey on the album, whose other standout tracks include the infectious “Don’t Go Breakin’” and the powerful ballad “This Whole World.”
“I’m excited about this record because each of these songs is pretty much exactly how I heard it in my head when they were being written,” Jones says. “I stayed true to the initial inspiration instead of worrying about having things sound a certain way in an effort to please ‘more’ people. I couldn’t be happier with the result. It sounds retro in the best possible way and there are some great SONGS. I also got a chance to finally hit the studio with my Soul in the City band The Righteous Echo and record some of the material we’ve been performing for the last couple summers. This record came from my heart and now it’s time to share it with the world.”
Soul in the City—sponsored by WestJet—takes place at historic Casa Loma every Monday night from June 18 to August 27, 2018. It has proven to be one of the summer’s hottest tickets in Toronto, giving audiences an opportunity to hear Jones and his band in a breathtaking outdoor setting.
It adds to the list of other prestigious venues Jones has played over the course of his career, including Carnegie Hall and London’s Trafalgar Square, where he has shared the stage with artists such as Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Usher. Other highlights are Jones’ performances at the 2015 Pan-Am Games and the 2016 Invictus Games. From hushed soul balladry to storming r&b workouts, Sean Jones’ breadth as a recording artist and live performer guarantees his audiences a thrilling ride.
Check out our “Soul In The City” coverage HERE