Concert to Feature Gary Jones Jazz Trio


Concert to Feature Gary Jones Jazz Trio

Wednesday, March 29, 2023
3 pics in Gary Jones Jazz trio

Raritan Valley Community College’s Arts & Design department, together with the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice, will present a Jazz concert by the Gary Jones Jazz Trio, Sunday, April 16, at 2 p.m. The trio features Gary Jones III on percussion, Naisha Walton on bass, and Marc Payne on piano.

The event, part of the 2022-2023 season of the MOZAIKA Concert Series, will be held in the Welpe Theatre at the College’s Branchburg campus. The concert will feature jazz standards as well as original compositions. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Gary Jones III is a 22-year-old percussionist and composer based in Manhattan. Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Jones has been strongly influenced by Gospel and Hip-Hop music. He’s recently been studying traditional, contemporary Jazz, and Latin music. Jones is currently pursuing a degree in Jazz Performance at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music at the College of Performing Arts. He has a deep passion for creating and serving as a creative vessel; his goal is to unite people through music.

Marc Payne, who moved to Nashville at a young age, soaked up the sounds of Jazz from his father playing Jazz records. Payne began playing music at 11 years old on a light-up keyboard, and began a serious pursuit of Jazz piano in his junior year of high school. He graduated from Nashville School for the Arts in 2017 to begin his professional career in music. Some of Payne’s mentors include Jody Nardone, Imer Santiago, Lady Chapman, Chazen Brown, Nioshi Jackson, and Rob Butts. Payne has shared the stage with many great artists such as Bobby Watson, Regi Wooten, Curtis Lundy, Roy Wooten, and Duffy Jackson, and has played on two of Shannon Callihan’s releases.

After starting on electric bass, Naisha Walton performed and recorded with groups in New York City and then in Los Angeles, where she played double bass. Walton’s work includes Jazz, Folk, Afrobeat, Soul, R&B, Euro-Classical, Black Americana, performing with a breakdance crew, Jazz improvisation, and her fully improvised solo bass album. Walton also has begun writing for orchestra, as well as for small ensembles featuring vocals. She has taught bass privately and served as rhythm section coach for a children's orchestra. Walton's mentors and teachers have included Cedar Walton, John Clayton, Henry Grimes, Rufus Reid, Ida Bodin, and Alphonso Johnson. She currently focuses on developing new aspects of performing and composing at The New School.

The MOZAIKA Concert Series is designed to promote multicultural dialogue through the performance of music from the classical canon through the 21st Century.

The Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice was founded in 1999 to preserve Paul Robeson’s legacy in the area where he came of age as an artist, athlete, orator, and scholar. The Institute envisions a global community of diverse cultures that embodies, through attitudes and behaviors, Paul Robeson’s ideals, beliefs, values, and vision for a world of justice and peace. The Institute strives to provide diverse and free programs for RVCC students, staff, faculty, administrators, and members of the community.

A post-performance discussion with the artists will follow the concert. For additional information, contact the Arts & Design department at 908-218-8876.

The MOZAIKA Concert Series is made possible by funds from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  

RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit



March 29, 2023

PR #115