Home for the Holidays
Alastair Willis, conductor
LaKisha Jones, vocalist
Join the SBSO to celebrate the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” at our festive family tradition, Home for the Holidays! Led by Music Director Alastair Willis the SBSO and American Idol finalist LaKisha Jones will dazzle audiences with cheerful favorites and classical gems. Celebrate the holiday spirit with “All I Want For Christmas,” the Polar Express Suite, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “O’ Holy Night,” and more! Don’t miss the sights and sounds of the season, featuring some new exciting twists, with your SBSO!
Best known to millions of TV viewers as a top four finalist during the 2007 season of American Idol, LaKisha Jones is ready to reclaim center stage in music, theatre and television.
Her last album, So Glad I’m Me was full of Jones’ expressive, full-bodied and arresting vocals, the same voice that electrified American Idol viewers with the Dreamgirls showstopper And I Am Telling You and later the Broadway stage in the Oprah Winfrey produced, Tony Award-winning musical, The Color Purple.
Having worked with hit-making songwriters and producers including Tony Nicholas (Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross), Ro & Sauce (Brandy, Ne-Yo) and Greg Curtis (Keyshia Cole, Yolanda Adams), Jones’ album featured a spirited mix of R&B and soul. A few noteworthy songs included the single Same Song, penned by award-winning songwriter Dianne Warren, Whitney Houston’s You Give Good Love, the gospel song Just As I Am, and Jones soaring ballad to her daughter, Beautiful Girl.
Her drive and motivation dates back to her childhood in Flint, Michigan. Raised by her mother and grandmother, Jones was exposed to music by legendary singers such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, with her grandmother urging the young girl to “let your voice shine” thereby prompting Jones to sing in church choirs and music programs. Joining various chorale groups and a cappella choruses throughout high school, Jones entered and won the top prize at Flint’s local talent contest, “The Super Show” in 1997.
A two-year stint studying vocal performance at the University of Michigan left the high school graduate craving to sing more than hit the books. She relocated to various cities (Dallas, Houston and Virginia Beach) to pursue her dream as a singer.
She auditioned for American Idol once before in 2003 but didn’t make the cut. Jones drove to New York to audition again for Idol and made it to the 2007 season where she became the fourth finalist. She segued from Idol to the Broadway stage for The Color Purple where she played two roles: that of a “church lady” and of the pivotal character “Sophia.” The latter role she alternated with R&B icon Chaka Khan, who became her mentor. Jones participated in Khan’s 35th Anniversary Tour. Following her Broadway stint Jones provided vocal coaching on MTV’s reality competition Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods, a show designed to find and hone Broadway’s next star.
A frequent soloist with symphony around the world, Ms. Jones has performed as a guest soloist with the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony and Opera, Winnipeg Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Utah Symphony and Opera, Colorado Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Windham Chamber Singers, Grand Rapids Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Reno Philharmonic. Upcoming engagements include Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Long Bay Symphony and the Festival Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.