Jonathan Brown is an Ann Arbor based percussionist and composer. He finds his artistic roots in Michigan,
but has extended his collaborative projects and creative endeavors across the United States and Canada.
With a particular affinity for diverse collaborations, Jonathan seeks to create through close relationships with
artists, with an intent to reach multifaceted listeners beyond the contemporary classical audience.
As a percussionist, Jonathan has performed with the Midland Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Livonia
Symphony, Detroit Civic Orchestra, Detroit Medical Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of the
Pacific, and the Percussive Arts Society 50th Anniversary Marimba Orchestra. Jonathan has also performed at the Ann Arbor Alberto Ginastera Festival, the Eastman Percussion Seminar, as well as the Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar, where he studied with Michael Burritt, Doug Perkins, Matt Duval, Cynthia Yeh, and Tim Feeny. Mr. Brown was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall as part of the Carnegie Weill Institute’s John Adams Workshop, under the direction of David Robertson. He has also been a frequent resident of the So Percussion Summer Institute at Princeton University, where premiered the works of Elliot Cole, Andrea Mazariello, and Wally Gunn.
Mr. Brown has closely worked with and recorded the works of David Biedenbender, as well as Dave Hollinden, in collaboration with the Donald Sinta Quartet. Jonathan also commissioned a percussion quartet with David Hollinden entitled “Locomotion”, as a consortium with Listen! Percussion Quartet and Ad Astra Quartet. While receiving his Bachelor’s Degree at Central Michigan University, Mr. Brown founded the CMU
Contemporary Music Ensemble, which still exists today. He was also a founding curator of the “Living Room Music” concert series based in Ann Arbor. Beyond contemporary percussion, Jonathan is an avid jazz drummer, having performed with Rob Smith and Carlos Mendelez at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
As a composer, Jonathan is particularly interested in elevating repetition to create an ambient atmosphere. With his music, Jonathan seeks to create space for pondering and meditation, without sensing the passage of time. His compositions brought him to be a co-founder of the artist group The Willo Collective, a Midwestern family of composers, visual artists, percussionists, and dancers seeking to make the universal personal through collaboratively inclusive work. Currently, The Willo Collective is working on commissions for glass marimbas with composers from across the United States. In addition to his compositions being featured with Willo, Jonathan is currently working on composing music for Grand View University’s production of Macbeth.
Mr. Brown is currently touring the U.S. playing drum set for the Ann Arbor-based world-folk band The Ragbirds. He is also organizing U.S. tours and recordings with the blues folk rock group Men On Horseback. onathan completed his undergraduate studies in Percussion Performance and Music Education at Central Michigan with Andrew Spencer and Rob Smith, and his graduate studies in Percussion Performance and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan with Joseph Gramley and Jonathan Ovalle. He remains active in local Michigan school districts as a music mentor, and maintains a private teaching studio.