Monterey Bay

Campus Provides Professional-Level Opportunities in Music Industry




​When Associate Professor Jeffrey Jones received an invitation in summer 2019 to perform on an exciting music extended play project, he knew where he wanted to record his tracks. 

“The call came just a couple of weeks before I m​oved from the East Coast,” said Jones, the new chair of CSU Monterey Bay’s Music and Performing Arts Department. “I knew I didn’t have time to prepare the music and record before I moved to California, so I scheduled the session for the recording studio in the Music Hall at CSUMB.” 

He had toured the facility when he interviewed for the job and knew CSUMB had a strong program in recording technology. 

“I thought it would be a fun way to introduce myself to the community,” he said. 

The finished project, “Mindstate Music,” is a new EP by global fusion artist Jonathan Scales. Ropeadope Records released it in September 2019. 

It features a six-movement concerto composed by Scales for a steel band and his global fusion group. Jones played tenor steel pan on all of the tracks. 

His colleague, Lanier Sammons, composer, recordist and MPA assistant professor served as the engineer for Jones’ t​​racks. 

“Recording a great player for an exciting project is always a pleasure, and working with an instrument I haven’t had in the studio before makes it all even more fun,” Sammons said. “Jonathan Scales’ fusion of steel pan and jazz is a fascinating sound, and it was a treat watching Jeff pull off some really complex playing for his contributions.” 

CSUMB students have plentiful opportunities in the region to work in the performing arts, ranging from live recording projects to arts management opportunities with community partners. These partners include Pebble Beach Co., Cannery Row Co., California Rodeo Salinas, Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Symphony and the Carmel Bach Festival, Jones said. 

“I love that we have the capability at CSUMB, in terms of facilities and expertise, for our faculty and students to participate in the music industry at a professional level,” he said. 

“I’m hoping this project will contribute to the rich, ongoing dialogue about such opportunities and how CSUMB can help students prepare for and successfully engage with them.”​​