OAC
Linda Thomas Jones

Biography
Linda Thomas Jones is considered one of the founding mothers of female African drumming in the United States. She began her career in drumming at the age of 18 as a dance major at Case Western Reserve University. She studied African drumming both in Ghana and with world-renowned Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji and Dr. Charles Davis. In 1980, Thomas Jones created The lmani African-American Dance Company in Cleveland which taught African, modern, improvisational, and children’s creative dance classes to the local community. As a community art educator she is skilled in designing and producing community performances using African culture as an educational tool. After accumulating over 47 years of teaching experience in public, private, and institutional settings she has recently developed a program called “Girls and Grandmas Drumming Together.” The female mentoring program, for girls and women between the ages of 8 and 100, is centered on drumming and is designed to encourage healthy growth in youth while stimulating their creative abilities. https://www.drumwomanproductions.net/

Ohio Heritage Fellowship Information
Linda Thomas Jones received a 2017 Ohio Heritage Fellowship for Performing Arts. As an accomplished musician, she has dedicated her talent to help children and adults go beyond their perceived limitations. Her kind and nurturing disposition combined with her strength and enthusiasm creates an atmosphere conductive for her students to reach their full creative potential. She believes an effective teacher must provide and maintain a positive and supportive learning environment. This type of atmosphere facilitates both group and individual student’s growth. As a teacher and artist her aim is to create a supportive yet dynamic environment that address the learning style of all students and encourage them to participate. She is committed to helping students explore their artistic abilities as well as providing them with the necessary tools to assist them in becoming better human beings.

Watch a feature about Ohio Heritage Fellow Linda Thomas Jones
produced by ThinkTV in Dayton, Ohio.

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