Jazz973 Presents Victor Jones Orchestrio featuring Pianist/Organist Roberta Piket and Bassist Alex Blake

Gregory Burrus
7 min readMar 19, 2023

Hey Jazz lovers. Get set for an unforgettable, dazzling night of jazz with the incredibly charming Victor Jones and Victor Jones Orchestrio! Prepare to be swept off your feet by an extraordinary evening of live music at Clements Place Jazz. Tonight you are invited to experience his stellar trio featuring a key proponent of the fusion movement In the late 70’s, the powerful fusion bassist, Alex Blake and the exhilarating pianist-organist, Roberta Piket, Having experienced the Orchestrio playing for me in the past, I can attest to the fact that they simply adore swinging their way into your heart.

Read on to discover the amazing histories behind these talented musicians and understand how this dynamic group of musicians are ready to provide us with a very exciting night of live music..

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“Victor E. Jones is a new breed of outstanding drummer bandleaders … nothing Jones does is ever boring.”

Time Out New York

Dynamic Drummer from NYC/Copenhagen, Denmark is considered a visionary in today’s music business, is a new breed of Drummer & Bandleader bringing new and exciting ideas to the world of jazz and world music.

Victor Jones, the Drums and Percussion director for BAAMS, is internationally recognized for his consistent, subtle, and stylistic drumming on stage and in the studio. Victor Jones is known as an innovator who is not afraid to bring together different styles and sounds. He has played on hundreds of recordings, played hundreds of live concerts and performed in clubs everywhere on this planet, often as a backing musician for a variety of well-known artists, including Lou Donaldson, Chaka Khan, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, and many others.

No stranger to traditional or modern jazz, Victor E. Jones started his career as a teen-age musician playing in local bands in his birthplace of Newark, New Jersey and touring world-wide with Lou Donaldson. In his early twenties he toured the world with Stan Getz. Later tours were with James Moody, Michel Petrucciani, Joe, Olivia, Stanley Clarke, Phyllis Hyman, Dizzy Gillespie and Chaka Khan as well as others.

Victor played on the Grammy nominated EMI Korean recording, Second Moon, which won Record of the Year in 2006. Victor also was featured on the Best Latin Jazz recording in 2008 with Papo Vasquez. When asked about his greatest achievement he replied, “My greatest achievement in life was having five children with my wife Ane Jones.”

Since 2003 he has been a Bandleader with his own World Music Band, Cultur-Versy, these days specializing in a new age type of music, a mix of dance music, hip-hop and electro pop. This group currently has three CDs out, the latest named Dance Floor 54.

A very much in demand drummer he has performed with a whose who’s of musicians: William Bell, Woody Shaw, Stan Getz, Virginia Mayhew, Vinnie Cutro, Slide Hampton, Chico O’Farrill, Little Jimmy Scott, Mac Gollehon,
Jimmy Ponder, Woody Shaw, Camila Benson, The Perry Sisters, Mal Waldron, Valery Ponomarev, Mingus Big Band and Michel Petrucciani
Stan Getz said, “Victor is one top of the world caliber drummers and I don’t say that lightly.”

George Benson states, ”Whether playing funk, rock or jazz, Victor Jones is one cat that gets it right.”

The range of Alex Blake’s talent is bordering on phenomenal as virtually any musician in whatever style calls upon him for his truly unique bass playing. This had been going on since he was a child, and with his background it is no wonder many have already called him a prodigy.

Alex Blake was born in Panama, where he enjoyed the infusion of cultures in that rare Central American country. Everyone, and everything, goes through Panama, and a little of each culture is left behind. It only follows that as one of the building blocks to his character this influence would later be echoed in his uncanny ability to play every kind of music.

After becoming one of the major proponents of the fusion movement In the late 70’ with his writing and performances with Lenny White and Billy Cobham, Alex established himself as a drummer’s bassist. His range and ability flow between melodic and extremely rhythmic playing enables these all-star drummers to express themselves to their fullest without having to worry about keeping time. Most of the people who work with Alex consider him an entire rhythm section on his own. His playing evokes rhythm guitar steady drumming, and lyrical bass line work all in the action of two hands. If you count the scat singing that he throws in over some of his solos, you might be inclined to call him the whole band and give him the horn chair as well.

His talent can be measured by the plenitude of masters who have called upon him for his inventive playing. They include: Dizzy Gillespie, Carlos Santana, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Nancy Wilson, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Billy Cobham, The Manhattan Transfer, Astrud Gilberto, Pharaoh Sanders, Airto, Harry Belafonte, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Buffett, Jonathan Butler, Betty Carter, Charito Billy Cobham, Celia Cruz, Joey DeFrancesco, Chico Freeman, Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Mac Gollehan, Norman Headman Weldon Irving, Ryo Kawasaki Earl Klugh, Pati LaBelle, The Last Poets, Yusef Lateef, Frank Lowe, Carmen Lundy, Manhattan Transfer, James Moody, Sun Ra, Do-um Ramon, Carls Ward, Kazumi Watanabe, Lenny White, Nancy Wilson to name a few. Within the past decade and a half, he has spent eight years together with straight ahead/fusion great Tommy Campbell and The Manhattan Transfer. Each of these artists chose Alex as a source of ingenuity, inspiration, and versatility.

Pianist/composer Roberta Piket is one of a handful of New York musicians who is respected for both her swinging and inventive straight-ahead jazz playing as well as her powerful and sensitive work in creative improvised music. For Roberta, there are no genre boundaries, only exceptional music to be made.

Roberta has played professionally as a side-woman with David Liebman, Rufus Reid, Lionel Hampton, Mickey Roker, Billy Mintz, Harvey Wainapel, Eliot Zigmund, Benny Golson and the BMI/NY Jazz Orchestra and has thrice been a featured guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, on National Public Radio. A gifted composer as well, Roberta was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk BMI Composers’ Competition.

Roberta is from Queens, received her first piano lessons when she was seven and began playing jazz in her early teens. After graduating from prestigious Hunter College High School, she entered the joint double-degree program at Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the former and a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the latter. Roberta’s trio has toured Japan and Spain as well as the U.S. She has performed her music at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), at the Earshot Festival (Seattle), at the Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival, and in New York at Small’s, the Blue Note, Birdland, and Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Whether performing her original compositions or highly personalized reworkings of standards, Roberta’s CDs frequently make the “best of” lists of the major jazz magazines. Roberta’s recordings have earned rave reviews in JazzTimes, downbeat, the Washington Post, and Jazziz. A musical pioneer in several ways, Roberta is the first and only female jazz pianist with a release as a leader on the prestigious Criss Cross label (the 1997 Unbroken Line).

Educator Roberta has held master classes at the Eastman School of Music (where she performed solo and in duo with Marian McPartland), Rutgers University, Cal Arts, Duke University, the Northwestern University Composers’ Colloquium, and many others in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Roberta also performs on B3 organ, playing at clubs such as the Harlem landmark Showman’s. She has written several big band compositions, three of which are in the repertoire of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra. In recent years she has toured Europe several times, including France, Germany, Luxembourg, Ukraine and Spain.

About the Author

Gregory Burrus Productions is very excited to present this high-powered, high energy trio. If you know anything about Victor Jones then you know you need to gear up for an electrifying night that will leave you wanting more!

Gregory Burrus is a local live music ambassador, event developer and community partner that develops manages, promotes and documents local community events in the Greater New Jersey and New York Area.



Gregory Burrus

Gregory Burrus is a local live music ambassador, producer, promoter, curator, event planner, and community partner. Stay up to date on future events