Bonnaroo Festival "SuperJam" featuring John Paul Jones, Ben Harper, and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson

[6.06.07] Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will feature an all-star SuperJam, starting at midnight on Friday, June 15, 2007. Former Led Zeppelin bass player JOHN PAUL JONES will anchor a trio featuring one of music's most innovative modern bluesmen, guitar wizard BEN HARPER, and Roots drummer AHMIR "QUESTLOVE" THOMPSON. The SuperJam is one of the most highly anticipated features of the festival, combining the talents of a diverse set of musicians for a one-time-only collaborative performance.

[12.21.06] So it’s Christmas, and it seems like only yesterday since I wrote the last message! The main focus for the past year seems to have been acoustic music.

In March I produced an album for Uncle Earl, an old-time stringband ( I had the best time ever with this record, the girls are great musicians and brilliant fun to work with. We started pre-production at banjoist Béla Fleck’s house, then went up to Seattle and Tacoma where the g’earls were playing at Rockygrass. This is a big bluegrass festival in a hotel in Tacoma and it was totally amazing. There were hundreds of musicians everywhere, in the lobby, in the rooms, in the elevators, anywhere there was a space, and concerts thru the days and evenings. After that there were jam sessions in peoples rooms on every floor till the early hours. Madness! I met many friends there and also got to play acoustic bass guitar on stage with Mike Marshall and Hamilton di Hollanda (see pics). We then went back down to Nashville and moved to Karian studio in Hendersonville, about 35 miles north of Nashville. It was then a few weeks of acoustic heaven before mixing at  Sound Emporium in Nashville with our ace engineer Dave Sinko. Apart from getting a load of work down I basically spent the whole month laughing, it doesn’t get much better! The record will be out in the US March 13 on Rounder records.

I also attended Sore Fingers, a bluegrass camp in the UK as a mandolin student! John Moore was the teacher, he taught Chris Thile mandolin and Sean Watkins guitar, a chance I couldn’t pass up. Rayna (from Uncle Earl) was also teaching old-time fiddle there, and we had many great jams together. Now I’ve caught the fiddle bug… I’ve also been playing with Robyn Hitchcock and sat in with Glenn Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket, MAS) at the Troubador.

The autumn saw us in Lunel, and I ended up playing with Italian bluegrass musicians, Venezuelan traditional players and Hamilton di Hollanda’s Brasillian band, I guess I should stop having so much fun...

Ok, so the album is coming slowly, but it’s coming!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays

John Paul
December 2006
Photos: 1 [2] [3]

[5.22.06] Led Zeppelin receives the prestigious Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. [photo]
View the awards ceremony video here.

[4.24.06] Recent JPJ interview with the amusing Wichita [mp3 podcast]

[Feb. 2006] Hi Everybody - Well I’m still here, and the album is still coming! I know it’s a bit slow (ok, the understatement of the year) but it will be good.

I'm taking time off shortly to produce a record for Uncle Earl ( which is a fabulous old-time string band. They are great musicians and very cool people. We will be cutting a mixture of traditional and original music, and it should be great fun!

Lunel was brilliant as usual and the whole looping thing seemed to go down well, my half-hour spot stretched to an hour with 2 encores, for the last of which I was joined by Mike Marshall and brilliant young mandolinist Josh Pinkham, all playing my triple-neck!!
There are pictures… [1] [2] [3] [4]

Earlier this month I played a show in London with Robyn Hitchcock  in aid of Medecin Sans Frontiers. Also in the band were Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin from REM. I joined the set with a killer version of ‘8 Miles High’!

So thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded.

John Paul
February 2006

[10.03.05] Hi All, an update of sorts.. Still not much further with the album, although it’s coming clearer in concept and I am practicing like crazy! The Merce Cunningham event was brilliant, 75 minutes of free improvisation was pretty exciting, and it was good fun working with the other musicians (Steven Montague & John King first show, Takehisa Kosugi & Kaffe Mathews the second). It was a really interesting experience and artistically more food for thought.

I have also been playing mandolin and my new mandocello, with Robyn Hitchcock on a couple of shows, and I sang “Anthony” with Nickel Creek when they came to London last month to promote their new record “Why Should the Fire Die”. Mo and I took them out to a great Indian restaurant, which everyone enjoyed until some of the younger ones got involved in a chilli-eating contest…

I am taking a week out to go to Lunel again, only this time I shall play a short solo show. I am taking the triple-neck mandolin and Kyma (as heard on “Down to the River To Pray” on Thunderthief). I will use it with a looping set-up and also with some processing that I created for the John Cage and Merce Cunningham events. I’m also looking forward to seeing (and hearing) mandolinist Mike Marshall again. It was he that invited me last year, a brilliant musician.

So there you are, the album is still a very high priority but it must be right!

John Paul

[9.29.05] BBC 4 airs a recent Bob Dylan tribute concert on Sept. 30, Talking Bob Dylan, which features a guest appearance by JPJ.

[9.21.05] John Paul Jones will be performing at the Lunel Mandolin Festival, in the south of France on October 29th, for a half-hour set including triple-neck mandolin and Kyma.

[5.20.05] Hi All -- Well.. I haven’t got very far with the album, stuff happened! First off I went to LA for the Grammys. That was quite good fun - a chance to catch up with some old friends, the award was good too. Whilst there I played on the new Foo Fighter’s record at the invitation of Dave Grohl.

I went out to their studio and spent an enjoyable time putting mellotron and mandolin on a couple of tracks. The band was very friendly, not to mention huge Zeppelin fans, so by the time I gave them a little Rainsong on the mellotron I could do no wrong!

Since then I have written a short piece for The Brighton Festival Youth Choir and Orchestra, which will be performed this Sunday 22nd May at the Dome ( The choir is 30 strong and the orchestra is full symphony size, so lots of notes. The choir, for whom the piece was commissioned, are particularly enthusiastic and raise the roof with their voices. The piece is called “Guerres de lEau”, (Water Wars). I have also just completed (today) a piece for COMA, which is the amateur music society of Great Britain ( I believe it will be recorded.

I’m now going to prepare some Kyma programs to use with the triple-neck mandolin for the upcoming Barbican shows with Merce Cunningham ( They promise to be really different - free improvisation, I believe there will be just a sound check...

Then back to the, honest..
John Paul

[May 20] JPJ Composes Classical Piece for Brighton Youth Orchestra/Choir
John Paul Jones contributes a short classical piece for the Brighton Youth Orchestra & Choir at the Brighton Dome on May 22. The world premiere composition, commissioned for and performed by the dynamic Brighton Festival Youth Choir, also features new material composed by Stewart Copeland and Peter Gabriel.

[May 11] JPJ will be appearing as a guest musician at the Merce Cunningham Event on June 17th. The dance improv performance takes place at the Barbican Theatre, London. "A celebration of Cunningham's visionary collaborations with guest visual and musical artists. Each event will contain different choreography, different décor and different musical accompaniment."

[Photo] Led Zeppelin receives Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.

[1/18/05] John Paul Jones will be attending the 47th Annual Grammy Awards in February, where Led Zeppelin will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

[11/07/04] Hi All - I have now started to write and record for the new album. I’m sort of doing both things at the same time, a new approach that I am hoping will make for a more organic process.

I took some time out last week to attend a Mandolin festival in Lunel in the south of France. I went on the invitation of Mike Marshall, who I met at Merlefest and again at the Mandolin Symposium. He was there playing with a fantastic Brazilian mandolinist by the name of Hamilton de Holanda, who is the top exponent of a style of music called Choro (pronounced ‘shorro’). Choro is the forerunner of Samba, and is both a melodic, harmonic and rhythmically complex form of music. Mike and Hamilton did solo spots and then the two played together. I can’t tell you how exciting, both musically and visually it was watching these two brilliant players spark off of one another. The music was both passionate and soulful as well as being technically dazzling, I felt privileged to be there. They were also two extremely nice guys, in fact they persuaded me to join them on stage for one (funky, but slower!) number, that I played on a borrowed double bass. Lunel is now witness to my first ever double bass solo...

So, all of my instruments have been restrung, no small matter, and I am writing / playing / practising / listening / singing / recording / walking, anything and everything necessary to get the music flowing!

Ok, back to it...
John Paul

photos from Lunel Mandolin Festival [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

JPJ has answered some questions from fans on the message board.

[8/25/04] Well, here I am, back in England. The MAS tour has finished and I shall take a few weeks off to recover! The whole experience has been immensely enjoyable and I have found myself inspired by the great musicianship (and energy!) of my fellow bandmates. It is a pleasure to work with people who are not only extremely talented but who have a great enthusiasm for any and every kind of music, and they can play it!

I would also like to thank everyone who turned out to see us. It was so nice to be appreciated by Zep, Toad, and NC fans, rock and bluegrass fans alike. Diversity and the crossing of borders has for me always been one of the most interesting aspects of making music, (something those that know me may have already guessed!) but we need a ready, willing and open-minded audience to complete the experience, thank you for being just that. I hope now to spend the next few months writing and recording for my next solo album and attempt to turn all this inspiration into hard currency whilst the fingers are hot and the brain is buzzing!

Keep rockin'
John Paul Jones

[8/10/04] Photo from last week's Mandolin Symposium in California. [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3] [photo 4]

August 2004

Welcome to my new site. I know it's been some time coming but life seems to be rushing past at the moment! I am writing this looking at redwood trees on the campus of UC Santa Cruz, where a week long mandolin symposium has just finished, and Chris Thile and I are flying to Minneapolis today to rejoin the MAS tour (Mutual Admiration Society). I have many things now to practice! The tour is going well and I am enjoying playing bass again, even the bus is fun..

The site will be growing over a short time and we hope to have many interesting and exciting things to come. I now have Sam Rapallo on board ( and he has promised to ensure that this does not become a cobweb site, so he will be on my assignment..

So, hope you enjoy it and, well, come along and see us on tour!


   John Paul Jones

JPJ To Tour This Summer
John Paul Jones will be performing throughout the US this summer as a guest performer with a project called the Mutual Admiration Society.

The Mutual Admiration Society is Glen Phillips (ex Toad The Wet Sprocket), with Sara Watkins, Chris Thile, Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Pete Thomas.

John has been invited as a very special guest to join the band on this tour performing their material. The whole show is an "Evening with Mutual Admiration Society" so you can also expect to hear some of John's own material, other collaborations and a few surprises.

7/27/04 Seattle, WA Moore Theater Time: 8:00 PM
Phone: 206.467.5510
On Sale Now
7/28/04 Portland, OR Roseland Theater Time: 8:00 PM
Phone: 503.224.2038
Tickets: 800.992.8499
On Sale Now
7/29/04 San Francisco, CA The Independent Time: 9:00 PM
Phone: 415.771.1420
On Sale Now
7/30/04 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues Time: 9:00 PM On Sale Now
7/31/04 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy Theatre Time: 9:00 PM
Phone: 310-278-9457
On Sale Now
8/8/04 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Cafe Time: 8:00 PM
Phone: 612.338.8100
On Sale Now
8/9/04 Chicago, IL Metro Time: 7:30 PM
Phone: 773.549.4140
On Sale Now
8/10/04 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom Time:8:00 PM
Phone: 216.383.1124
On Sale Now
8/12/04 Boston, MA Paradise Club Time: 9:00 PM
Phone: 617.562.8801
On Sale Now
8/13/04 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom Time: 10:00 PM
Phone: 212.260.4700
On Sale Now
8/14/04 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom Time: 10:00 PM
Phone: 212.260.4700
On Sale Now
8/15/04 Charleston, WV Mountain Stage Radio Show Time: 8:00 PM
Phone: 304.556.4911
On Sale Now
8/17/04 Lexington, VA Theatre at Lime Kiln Time: 7:30 PM
Phone: 540.463.3074
On Sale Now
8/18/04 Alexandria, VA Birchmere Time: 7:30 PM
Phone: 703.549.7500
On Sale Now
8/19/04 Alexandria, VA Birchmere Time: 7:30 PM
Phone: 703.549.7500
On Sale Now