Guitarist Jonathan Heagle has played in just about every kind of band one could name, from jazz combos to honky-tonks, rock concert stages to the circus. Originally hailing from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Jonathan’s first forays with the guitar were inspired by rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. He soon became interested in jazz, after hearing musicians such as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, as well as guitarists Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, George Benson and Allan Holdsworth. Jonathan’s burgeoning interest in music led him to studies in college, first at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and then at Indiana University, where he played in the big band of David Baker, one of the leading lights of jazz education.
After graduating from IU with a Bachelor’s in Jazz Studies, Jonathan moved to Brooklyn and began gigging around New York, playing jazz with noted musicians such as Geoffrey Keezer, Greg Osby, Sam Newsome, Lonnie Plaxico, and Marvin “Smitty” Smith, among others. Jonathan has also, in recent years, acted as guitarist, musical director and producer for the neo-soul/children’s-music band Shine and The Moonbeams, whose music has been featured on National Public Radio and which has performed at many notable venues, including Central Park SummerStage, the Smithsonian Museum, the Getty Museum, and Carnegie Hall.
As a teacher, Jonathan strives to instill the basics of musicianship for each student, emphasizing such fundamentals as instrumental technique, music reading, ear training, and music theory. In addition, Jonathan seeks to help students learn the music and songs of their favorite artists, in order to foster the students’ enjoyment and self-expression.