Jon Ballantyne

Jon’s early interest in studying and performing music ultimately led to his collaborations musically (onstage and/or recording) with musicians such as Joe Henderson, Paul Bley, Dewey Redman, Billy Hart, Roy Haynes, Drew Gress, Dave Liebman, Rich Perry, Doug Weiss,  Gene Jackson and Phil Dwyer. Over the past several years, he’s jammed at jazz festivals or private sessions with players like Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Bill Carrothers, Seamus Blake and Donny McAslin.

In his formative years, Jon played gigs with Pepper Adams, Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, Terry Clarke, Neil Swainson and Jerry Fuller.

And before that, Jon studied, and in many cases, played, with greats like Cecil Taylor, Ed Blackwell, Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, Karl Berger, Elvin Jones, Barry Harris, Joanne Brackeen, Emily Remler and Lee Konitz, to name a few.

An example of Jon’s musically diverse career is from an approximately two year period in the early 1990’s when Jon performed in completely spontaneous piano duo recordings and concerts with fellow pianist and Canadian Paul Bley, and was also found to be playing raucously swinging, modern jazz in concert and clubs with the late, great American saxophonist Joe Henderson.

Jon has performed in some of the world’s finest concert halls (Cremona, Italy Opera House; Kilbourn Hall-Eastman School of Music; Place des Arts-Montreal), institutions (Museum of Modern Art-New York, Stockholm) and jazz clubs (Knitting Factory, Birdland-New York). Whether he’s performing his original compositions, which can be knotty and dense, or sometimes quiet, spacey and melodic; two-handed virtuosic atonal improvisations, or reworking the standard jazz repertoire, Jon’s openness, originality and inborn creativity always inform his playing, much to the delight of his listeners.