A lot of youngens dream of becoming rock stars, or rappers, or R&B legends. They dream of fame and fortune—in fact, sometimes that’s what they care about more than actually making music. It’s probably a generational thing. Or is it?
Josh Jones is both similar and different to other aspiring musicians his age. A product of inner-city Detroit—a town with one of the richest musical heritages in our country’s history—Jones has big dreams of making music. But it may not be the music you’d expect. He isn’t looking to take the worlds of hip-hop or alt-rock by storm. His dream is to play for the symphony orchestra. And judging by his rare combination of talent and dedication, it’s a dream that is going to become a reality.
Growing up in the area Jones did, even going outside to play was a dangerous proposition. So his parents developed creative ways to keep him and his siblings entertained within the relative safety of their home. And though the experience was somewhat isolating, it did help Jones develop one key relationship that would inform the rest of his life.
“One of the side effects of me being alone a lot, especially at home,” he says, “was that I wasn’t able to connect with [other] children. So I got connected with rhythms more than anything.”
And that connection certainly stuck. Whatever items Jones could find around the house became tools of percussion, helping him actually create those beats that were banging around in his head—and soul. To this day, it’s rare to find Jones when he’s not busy striking something, be it a xylophone, a drum set, or simply clapping his hands together upwards of a thousand times (or more) a day.
As an intern percussionist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Jones is getting some unparalleled training, and preparing himself for that crucial day when he finally gets his shot at playing with the orchestra. And, as luck would have it, Complex caught up with him just as that opportunity came through. To see how Jones prepared for the biggest shot of his young life, and to learn more about his path from inner-city kid to orchestral hopeful, be sure to check out the newest episode of Uncharted above, brought to you by Honda.