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Upstream Artist of the Week: Ayron Jones (Image courtesy of Upstream)

Upstream Artist of the Week: Ayron Jones

We're partnering with Upstream Music Fest + Summit to bring the Pacific Northwest a whole new style of music festival we've never seen. Each week we’ve been profiling local artists playing at the Festival, and speakers talking at the Summit - to start getting us all pumped up! If you're not recognizing any names - we encourage you to read on anyways. One of the main goals of Upstream is raising awareness of amazing local bands - that might not be on your radio (yet) - but are worth our time and attention.

If you don't know Ayron Jones yet, you soon will. He's worked with some of the biggest names in the biz.

“I’ve worked with BB King. I’ve worked with Run DMC, and Public Enemy, and Rahkim, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and I've played shows with Blink 182, I've played kind of all over man,” said Jones.

Yet with all that success, Ayron hasn't forgotten his Seattle roots.

“I come from Seattle, man. Born and raised. I grew up in kind of a poor household, poor situation so to be where I'm at now and to experience what I'm experiencing is almost like a dream come true,” he said. “And to be able to do it from Seattle Washington is even a bigger privilege and honor.”

Ayron's music is heavily influenced by everything he's come across growing up here in Seattle.

“You know I grew up in the church,” he said. “And it started out with kind of gospel and soul. And then I realized the influence blues, gospel and soul had on everything. And that's when I kind of took this musical journey. And then when I came of age to start playing my own stuff it came out as a conglomerate of different sounds as opposed to one or another you know, more of that alternative blues and grunge, hip hop kind of mix.”

Ayron is well known for playing the guitar, drawing obvious comparisons with that other Seattle guitarist Jimmy Hendrix.

“So I've been playing guitar since I was like 13 years old,” said Jones. “I'm 30 now so it's been 17 years of playing guitar. My guitar is my best friend. It has taken me to places unknown, you know, like to meet people I've never met before and people I've looked up to my whole life and it's opened a lot of doors for me man.”

Of course you can see Ayron Jones and his band playing at the Upstream Music Fest. Ayron will also be big part of the summit as well.

“So I'm doing quite a bit at Upstream,” he said. “I'm going to be speaking at one of the panels for the summit. I'm also performing. I'm also judging the Guitar Slinger competition. So I'm very happy to be involved in what Upstream is doing and I'm an advocate for it.”

So what's next for Ayron Jones?

“I just got a record deal so I'm working on that right now,” said Ayron. “It's called Audio Paint Job. It comes out June 2nd. It's the evolution of my sound, man. It's definitely a more honed in, more professional version of what I've been doing. And it's already kind of seeping into the mainstream so, it's doing well man, yeah.”

Upstream is taking place throughout Pioneer Square May 11-13. Tickets are on sale now.