From the album Quiet Conversations with Pianist Frank Wilkins
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- Joan Watson-Jones
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Joan Watson-Jones is a very expressive vocalist who burns quietly with inner intensity when she sings. She has deep understanding of the words she interprets, and has a natural sense of swing. She brings an energy to her Jazz that would appeal to new listeners and long time jazz fans.
Joan’s parents both had fascinating careers. Her mother Aurelia Wheeldin was a dancer who spent 1924-26 performing at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Not only did she dance but she worked up an act with another dancer in which they regularly boxed three rounds on stage, causing a sensation. Back in the United States she was a pioneering female boxer, performed in Eubie Blake’s Shufflin’ Along, and appeared at the Apollo Theatre in a production called Harlem before retiring in 1940 to marry Joan’s father.
Click here to see Joan’s self-produced video about her mother.
Joan’s Dad was a physician who became one of the 12 doctors to co-found the Upper Manhattan Medical Group, the first clinic in Harlem that was run entirely by African-American doctors. Among his patients through the years were Billie Holiday and Mercer Ellington. The clinicl was immortalized by Billy Strayhorn when he wrote “U.M.M.G,” a piece recorded by Duke Ellington.
On Quiet Conversations- A Duet , the follow up to her earlier well received efforts One More Year and I Thought About You, the singer steps boldly into the spotlight on a program of intimate duets with pianist Frank Wilkins.