Updated: 9-27-16 // Press Photos Available Here:
“He is a tremendous talent who deserves to be seen. He is a legitimate Country talent, plus his politeness strikes you – He respects people and he respects who he is.” – Don Jesser, Professional Rodeo Announcer
In a recent interview, Jacob Nelson was asked, “Are you a pilot who sings, or a singer who is a pilot?” With a smile on his face he said, “I grew up having two passions – singing and flying. I don’t think I could do one without the other – both are now so much of my identity.”
During his first year at Arizona State University, where he majored in Professional Flight, students had to live in the dorms on campus. “It was difficult for me… I grew up in a household where being musical was embraced and encouraged. I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ in the dorm making music and singing at all hours. So, I decided maybe this is the end of my music… I am a pilot now and that’s that.”
“Although I was so incredibly happy to be chasing my dream of becoming a pilot, I felt like a huge part of me was missing.” During his freshman year, Jake returned home to visit his family in the Antelope Valley. While he was at home, he was asked to sing at a charity event. “As I stood on the stage and began to perform, I instantly knew what had been missing: the music. It was one of those lightbulb moments… You HAVE to do both.”
Jacob is 24 years old and calls the Antelope Valley home. He earned his commercial pilot certificate in 2011 and has been an instructor pilot for nearly three years. He has had the opportunity to become a civilian contract instructor pilot at Edwards Air Force Base as well as a corporate LearJet pilot. Recently, Jacob took a position with a leading Regional Airline as a First Officer. He is an Airline Transport Pilot, flying the Embraer Regional Jet 175 out of Los Angeles International Airport.
Jacob is often asked how he has accomplished so much at such a young age. Jacob said, “I actually get asked this question a lot, especially from High School students who are struggling with what they want to do. I always tell them find the things in life you are passionate about. Set your goals and priorities then work as hard as you can – Most importantly you have to surround yourself with people who are positive and who actively support and encourage you. Be prepared and never pass up an opportunity – even if it is out of your comfort zone and NEVER let anyone discourage your dreams – EVER!”
Jacob has been singing since before he could talk but has been singing professionally since he was 10 years old. If there was an opportunity to perform, Jake was always ready. Jacob started singing the National Anthem and performing pre-show entertainment for the Showdown Rodeo when he was 10 years old. “The rodeo has given me so many opportunities to be in front of a crowd, doing my thing. Rodeo has been a central part of finding my musical identity. ”To give back to the “All American” institution of Rodeo Jacob he wrote and recorded his first original song at age 14 which was dedicated to the “rodeo experience.” The up-beat honky-tonk song titled “Just Can’t Wait” was debuted at the Showdown Rodeo on May 31, 2007.
Although he is not a rodeo competitor, Jacob is a huge rodeo fan and a huge country music fan. Although he says he “suffers from ‘Musical A.D.D.’ ” and enjoys all types of music, his heart is deeply rooted in Country music. “From classic country to southern rock, from heart stealing ballads to down and dirty blues, I want to deliver something for everyone… with a healthy dose of Twang.”
“Country Music speaks from the heart and that is what it is all about. When I perform a song, I want to be able to look someone in the eyes and know that I have made a connection with them – whether it is taking them back in time or allowing them to dream about what the future holds. My responsibility as a performer is to take people away from their problems for just a little while and bring happiness to their hearts.”
In 2011, it was time to take the music to the next level – and Jacob Nelson and the Tone Wranglers Band was formed – Their first performance was at the RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo. The Tone Wranglers perform about 22 shows a year. Some of the highlights have included opening for Country Star Tracy Lawrence, performing the past 3 years for both the 4th of July Celebration/Professional Bull Riding at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, and of course, one of their all-time favorite events – the RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo. The Tone Wranglers have also performed at JetHawks Stadium and recently opened for Country Star Craig Morgan at the 2015 Los Angeles County Air Show.
“We love performing in our community – it is such an honor to have so many friends and fans join us on our journey and be part of our Tone Wrangler family.”
“Not only are [The Tone Wranglers] world class musicians, they are first class friends. The amount of experience and wisdom that each member has is incredible. They all bring their own brand of magic to the Tone Wranglers. When we all hit the stage, it becomes this sound that can’t be reproduced elsewhere. It’s like a ‘Tone-Wranglifying Process’ that I can’t explain.”
Jacob is a firm believer in giving back to the community who has given him and supported him so much. He is happy to lend his talents as a Master of Ceremonies and as a performer for several local and state-wide charities. “It is imperative to give back to this community. I am a firm believer in the Golden Rule. Be excellent to one another, and it all comes back.”
Jacob is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has appeared in several television commercials including spots for Mervyn’s, JetBlue Airlines, Toon Disney, and others. He also appeared as “Young Andy” on According to Jim and appeared in episodes of “Zoey 101”. Jacob was also cast as “Brett” in the workshop for the musical “13”, written by Dan Elish and Jason Robert Brown. Although he continues to work as a voice over actor, Jake focuses on his music and flying.