October 3, 2008

Personality Test: Sean Jones

Sean Jones fits well into the jazz legacy of Pittsburgh. He is in the front line of the current breed of jazz players who are taking up the heritage of pianist Erroll Garner, drummer Kenny Clarke and sax player Stanley Turrentine.

Although not a Pittsburgh native, Jones, 30, has become a major force in the city's jazz scene. He is a professor of jazz studies at Duquesne University, Uptown, and a frequent performer in the area -- with his own band and in the bands of others. Jones was born in Warren, Ohio, attended the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University and received his master's at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

He also plays lead trumpet in New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, directed by Wynton Marsalis, and is a busy recording star. His fifth album, "Search Within," is on its way from Mack Avenue records in the spring of 2009.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

Steve Harvey would more than likely play me in a movie, for several reasons:

1. He's able to be comical as well as show a serious side.

2. He's very country (yes, I admit to being country).

3. He spent a great deal of time in Cleveland.

Childhood hero:

My childhood hero is definitely my mother, and the reason for this is that she taught me by example. I've seen her in moments of triumph as well as moments of adversity, and she manages to be graceful in both circumstances.

My favorite captain:

A. Kirk

B. Kangaroo

C. Crunch

D. Jack Sparrow

C. Cap'n Crunch, of course.

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Barack Obama, Sonny Rollins, the Dalai Lama.

After a long day, I like to relax with a:

A. Martini

B. Cold beer

C. Cabernet

D. Herbal tea

Definitely a martini. Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy a good drink. There's nothing like taking the edge off with a nice drink or two with friends after a long day. And believe me, the days get long!

My quirkiest inherited trait:

I would have to say that my quirkiest trait would be sneezing, which I inherited from good old Mom.

Pick one:

A. "American Gladiators"


Well, I suppose it would be "American Gladiators." At least there is some attempt at true competition and sport there.

My favorite sandwiches, plus fixings:

A chicken and salami sub with pizza sauce, mushrooms, peppers, onions and cheese from Uncle Sams. See what you've done to me, Pittsburgh?

Celebrity crush:

I would probably have to say Julia Roberts.

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

Probably mustard.

My required snack in a movie theater is:

Popcorn and a cherry slushy. The combination is a must!

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

Either be a pediatrician or a vet.

Exercise I hate most:

Anything with weights.

Vegetable I won't eat:

Never say never!

I'm deathly afraid of:


If I were auditioning for "American Idol," my song would be:

"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.

The first band I saw in concert:

Other than gospel music, I saw Terence Blanchard's band when I was 15 or so. Amazing show.

TV marathon I could watch all day:

I could watch "SpongeBob SquarePants" all day. For some reason, I love that show. I think it's because he uses his imagination so well. I try to play the way he thinks.

The person I'm most often mistaken for:

Bernie Mac. I have no idea why, though. Lately, it's been coach Mike Tomlin. I guess it's the eyes.

Choose one:

A. Dogs

B. Cats

Dogs, of course. But they are both great. Cats are sometime-y, though. Dogs love you no matter what.

The worst advice I ever received:

Make sure you have something to fall back on just in case the music thing doesn't work out.

I own 9 pairs of shoes. My favorites are:

My black Cole Haans.

Pick one:

A. Boxers

B. Briefs

A. Definitely boxers. Hey, ya gotta have room to breath.

In high school, I was:

The trumpet nerd that you could hear playing bebop lines all the way down the hallway.

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Well, if you count true friends, I would have to say Wynton Marsalis. I'm acquaintances with Alicia Keys.

Choose one:

A. John

B. Paul

C. George

D. Ringo

A. John. He seemed to be the mastermind.

My most recent eBay purchase:

Ha, that's funny! Zero.

The movie that always makes me cry:

"The Passion of the Christ." We all know the story, but it's something seeing it played out.

My most treasured fashion accessory is:

My watches. I love them.

Pick one you love or hate:

A. Stripes

B. Polka dots

C. Plaid

D. Paisley

A. I love stripes. Maybe it's because they have a way of making you seem streamlined.

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:


My most embarrassing junk food:

Hmm. Probably strawberry milk. I always get teased about it.

If I weren't a musician, I'd be:

More than likely a vet. I love animals.

The last book I read:

"Treatise on Human Nature" by David Hume.

It's not pizza without:

Sauce! Not cheese, sauce.

Pick one:

A. Original Hot Dog Shop fries

B. Primanti Brothers fries

C. Potato Patch fries

D. Pommes frites

B. Well, I would have to say Primanti Brothers so that I'm not gunned down later on.

My favorite Web site:


My most memorable fashion mistake:

Wearing cowboy boots to school in the fifth grade. I've never been made fun of so badly.

Pick a Bond:

A. Sean Connery

B. Timothy Dalton

C. Pierce Brosnan

D. Daniel Craig

A. Sean Connery, of course. That's who I was named for.

My childhood nickname was:

Seany Boy.

My favorite "bad" movie is:

"Pulp Fiction."

My best karaoke song:

"Reasons" by Earth Wind and Fire.

My first job:

Private music teacher at a music store in Warren, Ohio.

My worst job:

My worst job was as a telemarketer for MCI WorldCom. I wanted to commit suicide.

Pick one:

A. Ketchup

B. Mustard

Neither. I like mayo, vinegar, pesto.

My favorite cable channel:

I love the History Channel, Animal Planet and the Weather Channel.

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

"Ain't No Stoppin Us Now." There is something about this song that makes you move. It's simply infectious.

Life would be better without:


If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

Earth wind and Fire, and The J.B.'s.

I never travel without my:

Cell phone.

Originally published by The Tribune-Review.

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