When a singer/songwriter/entertainer almost single handedly drives 90s R&B to a new level finds himself the Ringmaster of one of the most powerful R&B/Soul homage bands in the country, what’s a guy to do? Keep going, of course! That’s just what R&B/Soul music legend, Kipper Jones, (songwriter of hits like “I Wanna Be Down”, and “Baby” for Brandy, “The Right Stuff” and “The Comfort Zone” for Vanessa Williams”, “Never Too Busy” for Kenny Lattimore, and for films like the cult classic “The Five Heartbeats”, and much more), is doing!
Flint, Michigan born, Kipper grew up in Los Angeles, where he trained as a session singer at age 15 under the tutelage of the Berry Gordy school of Motown, through hit songwriters Marilyn McLeod and Pamela Sawyer (“Love Hangover” for Diana Ross). It was in L.A. where he continued his soul education under the wings of such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Luther Vandross.
Kipper’s career is a timeline through the history of modern black music, from performing and recording as part of the venerable R&B outfit TEASE, as well as working with an eclectic, multi-generational collection of musicians including Anita Baker, Teddy Pendergrass, Darius Rucker, Teena Marie, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill and Sly Stone. Kipper was the second Black male singer signed to Virgin America Records’ Black Music department, and released his debut solo project, “Ordinary Story”, in 1990.
Although hailed by the L.A. Times as, “…one of the best kept secrets in Soul”, Kipper is no longer just an entertainer. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, for the last 16 years, Kipper has become a very respected activist and educator who hosted his own webcast called Know Better with Kipper Jones, and created the Civil Rights multimedia presentation, Respect Yourself: The Music of a Movement, in tribute to what he calls, “the unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement; the music”, among his many other socially conscious endeavors. All while completing his degree in Music Business at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music.
He is currently developing several new projects. Jones has created the video podcast series NextAge - conversations, tips and testimonies about the next part of your life. Also, while focusing on his own journey with Prostate Cancer, Kipper has developed 96 Percent - the multimedia project about the ongoing conversation regarding Black men and Prostate cancer.
For Kipper, “Soul” isn’t just about the music, it truly is about the soul of a people.