Genre: New Age
Styles: Neo-Classical, Solo Instrumental, Meditation
Instruments: Piano, Composer
A native of Ontario, Canada, Jones studied classical piano and kept up his chops throughout his college courses in psychology. During seminars he conducted as part of his own business-management consulting practice, he began including interludes of piano improvisations. Finally, after years of encouragement from friends and clients, he released Pianoscapes in 1983. It was the first album ever released on the Narada record label. Over the years, Jones has recorded a number of solo piano and small-ensemble albums. Especially nice is his 1987 duo with cellist David Darling.
- Linda Kohanov (All Music Guide)
In 1980 Canadian Michael Jones was asked the defining question: "Who will play your music, if you don't?" It was a question that set him on his own road of discovery inspiring him to take a break from his leadership consulting practice to discover his own artistry. This led to Pianoscapes (1981), the first recording his own original piano compositions. It also became the first release on the Narada recording label. Since then he has recorded 15 CDs and been featured on approximately 30 music compilations. He has also performed in a variety of settings, including the International Piano Festival in Montreal, The Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, The Seoul Arts Centre in Seoul Korea, The Satagaya Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, as well as numerous community concerts, learning conferences and leadership retreats. Since the beginning, Michael's many CD's have served as a benchmark for solo piano recordings, inspiring many young artists and helping to popularize and define the emerging genre of contemporary instrumental music.
Over the years Michael has quietly established himself as an inspired speaker and facilitator, accomplished pianist, an evocative storyteller, and a fresh and gifted voice in weaving together metaphors from the arts to introduce new perspectives in leadership development and dialogue practice.
Michael has introduced new leadership concepts throughout Canada and the U.S. for extraordinarily diverse sectors, including healthcare, corporate, religious, consulting, military, voluntary, education, municipal, and more. He has served as a mentor and advisor on innovative leadership issues as well as a keynote speaker in a variety of national leadership conferences including: The Milwaukee Business Performance Network, The Pegasus Systems Thinking Conferences, The Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership and the Minneapolis Master's Forum. In recent months he has also spoken through various forums to senior leaders in The World Bank, The Hershey/Penn State Medical Centre, The Harvard Insight Negotiation Project and BP Global as well as leaders in city and county government.
He has had more than thirty years of experience as a leadership educator and consultant, including seven years as a Senior Associate with The MIT Dialogue Project and Dialogos, a Cambridge based consulting and educational company, where he served on the core faculty for their Art of Thinking Together and Leadership for Collective Intelligence Programs.
Michael is an Associate Leadership faculty member with the Executive MBA programs at the Center for Professional Excellence, College of Business, University of Texas (UTSA); a Senior Fellow with the James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland; and a charter consulting member with the Society for Organizational Learning (SOL).
He is presently involved in the design of a yearlong Transformational Leadership Laboratory, which will integrate the arts with leadership and dialogue practice through a partnership between UTSA and the McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership. He also designs and convenes community dialogues and leadership retreats to re-imagine the inner work of leadership and the leader's role in convening the commons and the public imagination.
He has written two books on leadership and imaginative practice: Creating an Imaginative Life (Conari, 1995) which received the Body, Mind and Spirit Magazine Books to Live By, Award of Excellence and; Artful Leadership, Awakening the Commons of the Imagination. (Pianoscapes, 2006). His numerous essays on leadership, dialogue and creativity have been featured in such publications as Reflections, The SOL Journal, and Leverage, published by Pegasus Communications, The Dance of Change, The Fifth Discipline Playbook and the Journal of Quality and Participation. Throughout his work Michael introduces a broad aesthetic vision for leadership that explores the intersections between generative dialogue, inspired leadership, the creative impulse and collective innovation. He does so by encouraging leaders to engage their imagination and embrace uniqueness, beauty, grace and wholeness - qualities that many don't see in a time of complexity and sudden change.
Michael has a BA in music and the humanities from Mount Allison University and an MA in Adult Learning from the University of Toronto. He lives in a lakeside community north of Toronto with his partner Judy, an Inner Relationship Focusing Trainer and fine artist.