MOUNT DORA, Fla. — Music has always been a part of Lisa Jones’ life. The sales associate with ERA Grizzard Real Estate in Mount Dora says she’s been singing since she was a child.
“I sang in the school choir and musicals,” she says. But it wasn’t until she was 15 years old that she got her big break. “I auditioned for my first band, and they hired me,” she laughs. “I started singing in beach bars in Fort Lauderdale with a rock and roll cover band, singing 80s songs.”
Jones soon connected with a producer and had a few recording contracts. She was on CBS Disco International South America in the 1980s and released a record in 1987.
“It was Ricki and the Beat, and they played it on Power 96 and at local clubs. That was farther than I ever dreamed I would go,” she recalls.
In 1992, Jones got married and decided to shift gears. “When I do something, I like to do it all the way. So, I left music and became a stay-at-home mom to my stepchildren.” At that point, the only singing she did was for parties and the church choir.
In 2001, Jones and her family moved to Mount Dora where she started flipping property. “I realized in my mid-30s that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My husband reminded me that I was addicted to homes. I watched all the real estate shows and the career seemed glamorous to me, so I got my real estate license,” says Jones, who became a short-sale expert.
Her love of music never stopped, but it took a tragic event for her to reconnect with her first passion and return to singing.
“My husband’s 19-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. I realized that life is short and I needed to make the best of the time I had left. So, I started looking for a band to join,” says Jones.
In 2011, she joined The Nightly Groove Band, an R&B, blues and jazz band. “That was foreign to me. I didn’t realize there was a blues singer deep down inside of me,” she laughs. She’s now in her fifth year with the band.
“The highlight so far is playing the House of Blues main stage for a corporate event,” she says. “I was sitting in the green room and realized that this very green room is where Pat Benatar, my idol, sat when she was here.”
Now, she performs mostly on weekends, often at locations in Mount Dora or at the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont. The group also plays at festivals. She says the band is not like any other blues band. “We come to events dressed up. The image you portray is how people perceive you,” she says.
When it comes to real estate, Jones says her music life has taught her some valuable lessons that transfer into the real estate world.
“My biggest life lesson is the importance of preparation and practice. That’s not just important in music. In real estate, I have to be prepared when I go to an appointment. I have to practice my scripts. And, being in a blues band has taught me a lot about image and branding and how important it is to project the proper image,” she says.
However, she says, none of this would be possible without her husband, Ed. “He is my biggest fan and the reason I’m a Realtor®,” says Jones. “It’s taken me years to find the balance between my career, family and my passion for music, but I think I’ve finally found it. The key is to find a passion for what you like to do.”
Want to learn more about The Nightly Groove Band? Visit the band’s website at thenightlygrooveband.com.