George Jan Jones

October 24, 1945 ~ February 14, 2022 (age 76)


       Actor/Singer/Dancer George Jan (G. Jan) Jones, 76, passed away peacefully on February 14, 2022, having been diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) just two weeks previous to that date. He was born on October 24, 1945, in the city of Medina, Ohio. After attending Medina High School (1963), where he played piano and French horn, he studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Blossom Music School and Firestone Conservatory of Music of the University of Akron, as well as the Keegan-Purcell Dance Studio and at Kent State, both in Akron Ohio.

      He made New York City his home in 1974 as a pianist/performer for Meredith Monk’s House Foundation for the Arts, attending and working for John-Michael Tebelak Laboratory Theater, Goldovsky Opera Institute and had John Bullock as a private voice teacher.  G. Jan performed Candide in Candide, George in Sunday in the Park with George, and Buddy in Company at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. For several years he was a soloist at Central Synagogue and Temple Beth-El in Great Neck.  G. Jan participated in various musical theater and Broadway musicals with roles in The Music Man, The Golden Apple, The Pantaloon, He who Gets Slapped, My Fair Lady, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, Man of la Mancha, Anything Goes, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Peter Pan, and High Button Shoes. He was a production stage manager for the first revival of Godspell in 1981 at La MaMa Experimental Club; and, in 1977, he was producer and co-director of edited Gilbert & Sullivan selections at The Duplex. At various times he was a music director at Calvary Episcopal Church, Church of Saint John of Divine and the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan.  G. Jan played piano and sang in New York City piano bars such as Marie’s Crisis Cafe, The Duplex, The Five Oaks and the Bushes at Central Park West (Hotel). One of his longest friendships was with a neighbor and card-game partner, the great cabaret performer Dawn (Lady) Hampton.

G. Jan was with Voices of Ascension since its inception in 1989. During the early years, he was involved in everything from box office and fundraising to concert production and singing with Voices under the direction of Dennis Keene. Ascension Church was his second home. As an active parishioner, he was part of a group of volunteers keeping the church garden ready for springtime. Also, on Christmas, he prepared and detailed the annual live nativity. As a Librarian for Voices, he worked late nights in order to have everything ready for rehearsals or concerts. Many times, he was the last person leaving the church, making sure all doors were closed and secured. As a music director, he could happily spend many hours arranging musical pieces for Pfizer Choraliers (since 2015) and Voices of Experience, a Voices outreach program he designed and implemented, offering sing-a-long sessions at NYC-area senior centers.

Besides his love of music, he loved to take long rides on his car, always taking the longest road because of the scenic views. Also, it was earth-shaking for him to see something he believed was not right or inequitable and not let his legislators know his opinion. And at the parties, if he did not say something inappropriate that had not yet made people laugh, he warmed them up by playing his boogie-woogie at the piano.

G. Jan is survived by his longtime partner Larry Espiritu-Cavero, his sisters and brothers-in-law Joyce (Ernest) McCann and Joella (Jack) Wagner, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gloria (Jones) and Eugene Cotner, and sister Judy Filut.

G. Jan’s Memorial Service will be held on May 7, 2022, at 3:30 p.m., at the Church of the Ascension on Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street.

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Memorial Service
May 7, 2022

3:30 PM
Church of the Ascension
West 10th street, 5th Ave
New York, NY 10011

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