"Janet is coming full throttle,” Jones said as he and the band made a surprise visit to Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. “She looks amazing. You can’t tell that she just had a baby 8 months ago."
The 35-year-old musician and producer graduated from the high school in 2000. He was full of energy as he introduced members of Jackson’s band, backup dancers, and creative team.
Jones told the crowd, “Janet just text me and said 'I would love to be there, but she stayed up until six o’clock in the morning with her baby.'”
Jones says making the visit to his alma mater was a must. He says mentoring young artists has become part of his mission as a professional who has been privileged to travel the globe following his passion. Jones says he leaned on and learned from other alumni from the school.
“Back then, I learned that I had to just sit at somebody’s feet and learn,” he explained. “So it’s always good to give back.”
Giving back, persistence, and preparation were talking points and part of the career advice Jones and his band offered up to the students at Booker T. Washington High School.
The moment became a master class, of sorts, for senior Justin Weed. He got a chance to join in on a jam session with Janet Jackson’s tour band.
"They were looking for a bass player because their guy got sick, and my name came up. I was the name," Weed said.
Jones had a special message for all artists working to reach their dreams.
"Persistence. Staying humble. Show up on time. Be prepared. I would tell any young musician, or any young artist, find a good mentor," Jones said.
The Janet Jackson State of the World tour hits the stage at the American Airlines Center in Dallas at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.