Born in South Africa into an artistic family Jonathan began his music studies on drums and percussion at the age of eight but switched to classical guitar a few years later when angry neighbours and a distressed older sister put an end to his drumming practice. As a teenager he soon established himself as one of the best young guitarists in country; Winning the Gold Medal at the Cape Town Eisteddfod and prizes at the National ATKV Music Competition.
Jonathan won a scholarship to the South African College of Music where he got guitar lessons with almost every staff member at the college including the legendary South African composer Peter Klatzow. His time at the college was a vibrant mix of solo performance, playing for opera and many different chamber music combinations including his founding of The Cape Town Guitar Trio.
In 2006 Jonathan won a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Australian born guitar virtuoso Craig Ogden. Upon arriving in the UK he founded and ran the RNCM Musical Companions – this is a group of student volunteers who present free lunch time concerts at old peoples’ resource centres throughout Manchester. Over the past ten years Jonathan has performed regularly in old peoples’ homes as part of the ‘Companions’ and other voluntary groups and continues to arrange such concerts for himself and his students in London.
While at the RNCM Jonathan performed in the European Premiere of Michael Karmon’s Frets vs. Fretless for two guitars and string quartet and lead Steve Riech’s Electric Counterpoint for 14 solo guitars at the Bolivar Hall, London. Recent performances include solo recitals all over the UK and South Africa as well as work with voice, cello, viola, violin and performances with international storytelling pioneer Ashley Ramsden.
In July 2011 Jonathan was part of a team that organized the Grand Guitar Ensemble for Peace - over 1000 guitarists from all over the world performing together as celebration of harmony within cultural diversity in Berlin’s historic Olympic stadium.
He now divides his time between performing in a huge variety of settings and teaching guitar to over 100 students a week. Jonathan volunteers his free time teaching a very special yoga and life skills course to teenagers - four action packed days that give 14 - 17 year olds the skills needed to really make the most of those wonderful years!
As a performer time and again people have remarked how Jonathan presents an integration between music and the musician – creating a powerful presence and a deep soulful experience in his listeners.