Amidst the bright lights, busy streets and bold artistry of New York, A Girl From Queens learned to march to the beat of her own drum…literally.
“I always wanted to play the drums,” Camille Gainer Jones told the Amsterdam News. “I just knew this was something I could do. It spoke to me. It wasn’t a process, I just knew. It was immediate.”
Camille Gainer Jones is an instrumentalist and bandleader with a deep-rooted tuneful passion. Influenced by East Coast culture, the drummer’s sound uniquely embodies and intertwines the essences of soul, reggae, R&B, hip hop, jazz, and rock.
At the age of 11, Jones began playing various instruments including the guitar, violin, piano, and drums. Using her early-learned musical versatility and artistic poise, the New York native, established a rich knowledge of and career in music and entertainment. All of this earned her a full scholarship to Brooklyn’s Long Island University and opportunities to work with many icons of entertainment including her master teacher Michael Carvin, Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, Heavy D, Mc Shan and the Juice Crew, Roberta Flack, Les Nubians, Roy Ayers and Wayne Brady. Jones also appeared on BET, BET on Jazz, the BET Jazz
Awards, Yo MTV Raps, NY Lottery commercial and Black Girls Rock “An American in Hollywood.”
Yet, with all her success, the multitalented artist doesn’t forget the roots that raised her into the creative genius her listeners know her as. She credits the influences of artists like James Brown, Count Basie, Marcus Miller and the nurturing musical culture of her hometown for her artistic development.
“I grew up in Cambria Heights in Jamaica, Queens and there was a lot of music everywhere,” Jones told the Amsterdam News. “Everybody played music, I mean even if you didn’t play professionally, it was just the environment. There were concerts, jazz music, and a lot very famous musicians also lived in my neighborhood. There was also music in the schools. At that time, everybody had to take a least one semester of piano in high school. So, we were a lot more sophisticated musically. That was the environment as I was growing up and during my developmental year.”
Following the traditions of the time, Jones’ parents watered the seed of musical excellence in her life. During her youth, her parents gifted her with drums for her birthday, a present that solidified the love Jones’ neighborhood embedded in her for music.
“My parents had no idea that I wanted to do it for a living. They just wanted to keep me interested and active,” Jones said. “Long story short, once I started playing the drums and playing in the R&B and funk jazz band in the neighborhood, I just felt like this was something I could do.”
And that she did. As an upcoming artist, Jones devoted countless hours to restlessly studying and perfecting her craft. Under the guidance of community structure, support and mentorship, she––along with her band––went on to land numerous gigs. From each performance, they walked away with exposure and experience, contributing to the success they have today.
As for the future of Jones and the band, the road to achieving higher success continues. She wants everyone to stay on the lookout for her upcoming shows and music.
“Everyone has a story. So, when you play music, you can only play what is your experience, your story,” Jones said. “Well, I have a new story to tell. I just lost my husband, so I’m moving forward from that.”
For more information on Camille Gainer Jones’ story, visit her website at www.camillegainerjones.com. To get updates on Jones, her music releases and performance dates, , follow her on Twitter at @RealDrummette , Instagram at @Drummette and Facebook at www.facebook.com/camillegainer.
You can find her music across various streaming platforms including Apple Music, SoundCloud, Spotify and YouTube.