Daniel Alexander Jones exemplifies the artist as energy worker. Daniel’s wildflower body of original work includes plays, performance pieces, recorded music, concerts, music theatre events, essays, and long-form improvisations. Energy is his true medium. He creates multi-dimensional experiences where bodies, minds, emotions, voices, and spirits conjoin, shimmer, and heal.
Jones’s critically-acclaimed performance pieces include Black Light (Public Theater, Greenwich House Theatre); Duat (Soho Rep); An Integrator’s Manual (La MaMa, etc. and Fusebox Festival); and Radiate (Soho Rep and National Tour). Jones has recorded five albums of original songs as his alter-ego, Jomama Jones. He is recognized as a key voice in the development of Theatrical Jazz and has made a significant contribution to Black Experimental Theatre and Performance.
Jones creates his own distinctive dramaturgy. His roots reach deep into Black American and Queer Performance traditions, and his work explores ideas of the Afromystical (awakening awareness of the numinous in the everyday through ritualized performance). Over more than two decades of professional practice, Jones has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to civic healing through vulnerable presence, truth telling, and collective critical engagement.
As a director, Jones has helmed world premieres of new plays by E. Patrick Johnson, Erik Ehn, Renita Martin, and Shay Youngblood, among many others. He is a company member of Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, an associate company member of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis, and a company member of Austin’s Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre.
Daniel’s numerous awards include a Doris Duke Artist Award, an Alpert Award in the Arts, a USA Artist Fellowship, an Arts Matters Grant, an inaugural Creative Capital Grant, a McKnight National Residency and Commission, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, a NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency, a Jerome Fellowship, and a Many Voices Playwriting Fellowship. Jones was lead artist on five projects awarded support by the MAP Fund. He has been a Mellon Creative Research Fellow at the University of Washington, a Hume Fellow at Occidental College, and a Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute at NYU. In 2019, Jones received a Bistro Award for Outstanding Performance Artistry, as well as a Franky Award from the Prelude Festival in recognition of his long-term, extraordinary impact on contemporary theatre and performance. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists.
An innovative educator who has lectured and led workshops across the United States, Jones has been in residence at colleges and universities across the country including most recently, Reed College and Hampshire College. He has held faculty positions at Goddard College and the University of Texas at Austin, and is currently an Associate Professor at Fordham University.
At this time, Daniel is at work on Waves, a book fusing memoir, philosophy, and performance theory, detailing experiences with his vanguard artistic mentors including Robbie McCauley, Laurie Carlos, Rebecca Rice, Blanche Foreman, and Aishah Rahman.