Photo by Adrian Wall
Photo by Joy Godfrey. Courtesy of Local Flavor Magazine

Jose Antonio Ponce is a writer, actor and musician living in New Mexico. He is author of five books; Killing Coyote, work@home , Lunch Hour, From Father to Son… and 53-Coming of Age in the 70s. He is associate film producer of the documentaries, Mariachi Spectacular and Lewie Wickham-A New Mexico Original and co-writer and co-producer of the 2018 music video Put My Mind at Ease and numerous performance videos.

Photo by Jon Carr

Jose plays original Jazz, Blues, Americana, Pop and R&B as a solo artist and with friends. He is also a member of the touring group the Windsor Creek Trio.

Jose is producer of the New Mexico Music Awards, recognizing excellence in recorded music produced in New Mexico. The NMMA provides free music and therapeutic songwriting workshops, and promotes local musicians nationally and to film and television. He also currently serves on the New Mexico Music Commission, is a member of New Mexico Arts & the Military and is past president of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop.

Hear and download music online at http://joseantonioponce.com/music/

View and download videos at https://vimeo.com/joseantonioponce/videos

Learn more about the New Mexico Music Awards at http://newmexicomusicawards.com

With Larry Mitchell, Maud Beenhower, Hillary Smith & Greg Overman
The Windsor Creek Trio (Jose, Dave Woodruff & George Giganti)

Jose Antonio Ponce-A quick hit

What a life. Willis Alan Ramsey once trashed his hotel shower. Ice T admitted to him that he really didn’t like playing a cop. Bob Odenkirk offered him a day old donut and Eva Longoria asked him to teach her the lyrics to Las Manaintas.

A songwriter for forty-five years, Jose began his life in music, performing in clubs and coffeehouses at age 16. When he wasn’t on stage, he had to stand outside of nightclubs to avoid breaking the law. He could work in a bar, he just couldn’t hang there.

At age 17, he sold his first song  for  $500.00.

At age 18, Jose was hired to load in sound equipment for a Jefferson Airplane concert. Concert promoter Bill Graham hired him to “keep people off of the stage” as security for the remainder of the tour. During off time, he swapped tunes with band members Jack Casaday and Jorma Kaukonen.

In 1975, Jose worked briefly as a road manager for the Led Zepplin North America tour, setting up and taking down concert venues with one of two sound and lighting crews. He then went to work on the original Outlaw tour with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings.

Jose continued to write and sell music and commercial jingles. At age 20, he was introduced to jazz which changed his perspective on music and stopped playing rock and folk to concentrate on jazz and acoustic music. He played jazz bass and guitar in small clubs around the country, introducing himself to  jazz masters like Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Zoot Simms, Peter Appleyard, Lou Soloff, Howard Ellis, Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon and many more.  He played with anyone who would have him.

In 1980, he was cast for the first time in the TV mini-series “Wild Times” when a casting director saw him sitting in a bar in Santa Fe and thought he had the perfect “mean bastard” look. His experience spurred Jose to write about the movies for a few national magazines.

In 1986, Jose took a job as an on air personality and record promoter. In 1988, he volunteered for the newly formed New Mexico Music Industry Coalition. In 2005, he became owner and producer and re-christened it the New Mexico Music Awards. In 1990, he joined the national folk group the Windsor Creek Trio and continues to tour with the band as its bassist.

Jose has hundreds of stories from a lifetime in music and film, from breakfast with Brenda Russell to dinner with Barry White. With over 1500 songs in his repertoire, he can play anything, country, jazz, blues, folk and more. Jose’s shows are entertaining and crowd pleasing.

Jose continues to write and sell his music to national and international artists. You can still see him in the occasional film or TV show. He has written several books and co-produced a number of music documentaries. As a New Mexico Music Commissioner and through the New Mexico Music Awards, he works to promote New Mexico musicians as artists and to film and television.

Jose & songwriter Willis Alan Ramsay in Norman, Oklahoma
Workshop with Rascall Flatts music director Jim Riley
In Santa Fe with Jazz legend Chick Corea
With Jazz guitarist and Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks
Songwriters and veterans writing music together
Photo by Jon Carr