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Jonathan is one of the most versatile and sort-after sitarists in the world. Continually gaining critical acclaim, he has performed and recorded in most musical genres and styles including Bulgarian folk, classical baroque, Hindustani classical, funk and pop. Such diversity is also reflected in the vast array of artists Jonathan has worked with, including Paul Weller, Kathryn Tickell, BBC Concert Orchestra, Docklands Sinfonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Plzen Philharmonia, Kavita Krishnamutri, Kuljit Bhamra, Erich Gruenburg, Rohan de Saram, Kenny Wheeler, The Orlando Consort, John Dub Orchestra, Future Sounds of London, Sarah Brightman, Noel Gallagher, and Sir Paul McCartney. As a composer, Jonathan also displays a high artistic talent shown in his fascinating works, which, along with his virtuosic sitar playing, are frequently heard on the concert platform. He has also made numerous TV appearances promoting the sitar.
Son of the late Indian composer and Indo-Jazz Fusions founder John Mayer, Jonathan studied sitar from Clem Alford, Pandit Subroto Roy Chowdhury, both of Senia Gharana, and Ustad Wajahat Khan of Imdadkhani Gharana. He studied composition from his father and later with Andrew Downes at the Birmingham Conservatoire where he gained a BMus (Hons) degree. Having studied both Indian and western classical music, Jonathan has developed and moulded the two traditions, producing a unique creativity whether as a sitarist or a composer. Indeed, part of Jonathan’s ethos is to develop the sitar as a multifaceted instrument, pushing and developing the instrument outside the sitar’s usual assumed genre. His other attributes are seen in his use of the electric sitar, as well as being the world’s first exponent of the newly developed ‘Pygmy Sitar’.
Jonathan has performed all over the world including India, Sri Lanka, UK, Abu Dhabi, Monte Carlo, France, Germany, America, Russia, Australia & Bangladesh. And in venues/festivals such as Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Glastonbury Festival, The Big Chill, Kazan Peace Festival, Lamar Tree Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus, Spitalfields Festival, The Royal Festival Hall, City of London Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival and even a private performance at 10 Downing Street!
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Press brochures (click the images to enlarge)
- 19th July – H2O Festival, Turku, Finland. Sitar with DJ set (Future Sounds of London)
- 14th September – Lille, France
- 24th September – Lunchtime classical recital. St Thomas’ Hospital, London
- 25th October – Aberdeen ‘Sound’ festival with Rohan de Saram
- 13th November 2014 – Mantra, with Orlando Consort. Sheffield Crucible Theatre
- 4th June 2015 - World Premiere of Hawaka Song, a commission for Pribram festival, Czezh Rep.
- 12th November 2015 – Olomouc, Czech Rep, Moravia Philharmonic, Sitar Concerto plus other symphonic compositions by Jonathan.