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Leslie Ann Jones

Leslie Ann Jones

Lucas Valley, California -- 2005

Working with sound engineer Leslie Ann Jones was a dream come true for me. She is such a pro! While recording at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound in Marin with the Montclair Women's Big Band, I experienced firsthand Leslie's excellent rapport with musicians as well as her recording expertise. The recording process was fun and smooth with no time-consuming technical glitches.

Leslie explains, "It's really important to make people feel comfortable and let them know you care about them and what they're doing. You can learn the technology but it's really a people business. We're there to support the artist and allow them to do the best performance they can possibly do."

A few years later in 2010, I had the opportunity to work with Leslie Ann Jones again. This time, the large studio at Skywalker Sound was being used as a sound stage for the live broadcast of Sedge Thomson's West Coast Live Radio Show. Vocalist Pamela Rose had invited me to perform with her on the show to promote her newest recording, Wild Women: Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era. This time, a live audience was invited in to enjoy the show and provide real time applause. Even during this big, live production, Leslie was cool as a cucumber handling all of the technical details as well as being personable to everyone.

Leslie Ann Jones exudes a sense of self-assurance that comes from having seen all sides of the music business as a mixing and recording engineer during the past four decades. As the Grammy-award winning director of music recording and scoring at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound since 1997, she's one of the few women who has pushed through what continues to be a largely male-dominated industry. She did things a little differently that helped set her apart. "A lot of women I knew were trying to prove that they could do it all or were trying not to be any different than men," she says. "But I asked for help when I needed it." She believes that helped her find mentors who became invested in her success. Decades later, Jones' success has turned her into a role model for many aspiring engineers. And the longevity of her career has become her biggest draw.

For more about Leslie Ann Jones, visit http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/14/leslie-ann-jones-at-skywalker-sound/.