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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Local band stays true to Tucson

    Although two of its members are UA alumni, local band The Jons has never been allowed to play on the UA Mall because of the high decibel level of its horns. The band will perform May 12 at Club Congress for an album-release party.
    Although two of its members are UA alumni, local band The Jons has never been allowed to play on the UA Mall because of the high decibel level of its horns. The band will perform May 12 at Club Congress for an album-release party.

    Once upon a time there was a great band who dreamed dubious dreams of platinum and gold. The road they would take to the enchanted land of fame and fortune would humbly begin in their hometown. It was there where their roots of modesty and prudence were left behind to pursue the ultimate quest for the chalice of sellouts.

    Now, as The Jons stand before that long road, faithfully playing the all-too-familiar Tucson circuit, the only thing that seems to be holding them back are those roots, which are powerfully fresh and briskly unique.

    The six-man band comprises UA alumni Jason Urman (piano, organs, sax, and vocals) and Javier Gamez (trumpet, guitar and vocals), as well as James Peters (drums and vocals), Charles Rodriguez (Guitar, horn and vocals), Jon Villa (trumpet and vocals) and Ricardo Custodic (bass, guitar and vocals). The Nogales natives aren’t ones to deny the importance of breeding your style with a little bit of hometown lovin’.

    “”It’s extremely important as a member of the music community to support your local scene,”” Urman said. “”It’s hard for someone who’s unsigned to stay alive.””

    The band wasn’t on a label, so it formed on its own in 2000, fittingly named The Jons Records. Through its outfit, the band has released its first album Wine at the Hilltop in 2003, and plans to release a second, Greatest Hits Vol. II, on May 12.

    “”When we made our first album, we didn’t have much studio experience,”” Urman explained. “”We didn’t really know what we were doing, and because we’ve learned a lot from that experience, our new album is a lot more polished.””

    It’s extremely hard to define anything about The Jons. The band’s sound seems to be a product of an eclectic list of influences, which range from Elvis Costello, and The Kinks to The Clash and even “”Chicago.”” The presence of horns in most of their songs also reveals a true magnetism brought about by their taste for Latin and jazz music.

    “”The horns are really important in making up our sound. They really add a whole new dimension to the band,”” Urman said.

    Being no strangers to the UA, the band has applied to play on the UA Mall in the past, but because of the loudness of their horns, they were denied the chance (the UA enforces a decibel limit that doesn’t conform to horns). Urman, who is a former UofA Bookstore employee, has even been featured in Arizona Daily Wildcat in “”On The Spot”” back in January of 2003.

    “”I was at work and the guy came up and started asking me questions,”” Urman said. “”I can’t really remember, but I think I told him I wished someone would fuck with me so I could have a reason to fight them and quit my job.””

    Upon further research, the archived “”On The Spot”” uncovered that not only did Urman confess to wanting to knock a customer out, but he also revealed his future job plans: “”Maybe I could sit on a tricycle and juggle balls while I play a flute or something.””

    Fortunately for Urman, he has since acquired a day job.

    In the dawn of the release of a second album, the band’s future seems to be vibrantly bright. Aside from their CD-release party on May 12 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., The Jons will play Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Friday and even venture as far as Hawaii to play a show in June.

    “”I think the band has come really far,”” Urman said. “”And I like where we’re going.””

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