Monica Jones has always had a passion for music. She started studying piano as a child and then moved onto clarinet and saxophone in junior high school. Her studies with Janice Finlay and Brian Zimmerman during her high school years gave her a solid foundation in saxophone playing and jazz improvisation. During that time she was accepted to participate in Manitoba’s Provincial Honour Jazz Band and won the Young Women of Note award in 2003. She then went on to further her studies in jazz saxophone at Brandon University where she studied with Greg Gatien, Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone Professor. She advanced her performing abilities while playing in the Brandon University Big Band and in numerous small jazz ensembles as well as gained more knowledge in the fields of jazz improvisation, music theory, ear training, and composition.
She has been teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation in Manitoba since 2005 for both private instruction lessons and group clinics to junior and high school level bands. She finds great joy teaching and sharing her passion of music with other musicians. She believes that music should never be a chore and feels strongly that bringing a fun and engaging environment is crucial to teaching music at all ages and abilities.
As a performer in Winnipeg’s vibrant music scene, Monica draws inspiration from her love of Jazz, Folk, R&B and Soul music. She plays saxophone and sings in a contemporary trio that blends a mix of R&B, Soul, and Folk genres with the spontaneity of jazz improvisation and performs for corporate events and in smaller, more intimate settings. She plays tenor saxophone in the East Side Jazz Band and freelances with other bands around Winnipeg as well.
Monica also works as a designer in the fashion industry and owns and operates her own label: Barbara + Cecile Handbags.