Prof. John William "Buzz" Jones is director of the Jazz Ensemble and teaches theory, composition, and jazz history. In Fall 2012, he was resident director of the College's England Program and visiting senior lecturer at the University of Lancaster. Jones has earned an ASCAP Standard Award in composition annually since 1996 and has been the recipient of numerous commissions for wind band, jazz ensemble, and chamber orchestra. For The People, an oratorio for brass band and soloists celebrating the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial, was premiered in 2009 with Stephen Lang (Avatar, Gods and Generals) as narrator. A new commission for wind quintet and baritone that commemorates the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg was premiered in May 2013 at the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Now in its 34th year, The Buzz Jones Big Band has toured Europe three times with appearances at the North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals. The band has released three compact discs: Live! At The Montreux Jazz Festival (1995), Millennium Swing (2000), and What's Up In The Attic? (2007). The ensemble has performed with notable jazz artists such as John Pizzarelli and Denis DiBlasio and has opened for legendary entertainers Tony Bennett and Bob Newhart. Jones also conducted the Welsh Chamber Orchestra of Pennsylvania on a concert tour of Wales and England and at the North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture Conference in Philadelphia. His jazz sextet performed and taught jazz workshops in German musikschules twice during the 2000s.
Jones is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and Phi Beta Mu (International Bandmasters Fraternity). For over 40 years, he was an active member of the National Association of Music Educators and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and served as president of the International Association for Jazz Education from 2003-07. He has received the Creative Arts Achievement Award and the Alumni Citation Award from his alma mater, Lebanon Valley College.