Calida Jones began studying the piano at the age of 3 while attending Nursery School, and switched to violin at the age of 6 when she entered Thomas G. Pullen Performing Arts School in Landover, Maryland. In 2012, Calida was hired by the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra to design and implement the El Sistema inspired program “Bravo Waterbury!” (Bravo). She continued her work in Waterbury until August of 2018. She continues to consult with organizations all over the country.
An accomplished musician, social justice advocate and educator, Calida’s work has taken her all over the world teaching and performing. Calida is passionate about intentional purposeful teaching and community engagement. She is committed to correlating the art of teaching to life skills, and community building. During her tenure as the Artistic Director of Bravo in Waterbury, she had the privilege of creating dozens of community collaborations, as well as ongoing performance opportunities for the youth in Waterbury.
Calida has had the privilege of speaking multiple times at the prestigious Yale School of Music, Duke University, Ravinia, The Connecticut State Capitol, The Hartt School of Music, and was a Tedx speaker in San Jose, CA.
A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she received her Masters in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from The Hartt School of Music.
Calida is honored and humbled to have received awards, and honors during her career including a scholar fellowship at the Aspen Festival of Ideas, The Elizabeth Mahaffey Fellowship, a Grammy nomination for the Music Educator Excellence Award, the Father Thomas H. Dwyer Humanitarian Award for her work in Waterbury, Connecticut, and the 2018 CT Arts Hero Award in Waterbury CT.
Calida serves on the Board of El Sistema USA, and chairs the Racial Diversity and Cultural Understanding Committee; she also serves on the board of the Connecticut Arts Alliance