Home: Seattle, WA
Profile Views: 1,369
“One can hear many influences in Bishop’s playing, including more than a touch of Elvin, but he is clearly an original voice…”
- Percussive Note
One of the primary voices in Northwest Jazz for 30 years, drummer John Bishop has performed in concerts and clubs with Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, George Cables, Kenny Werner, Nick Brignola, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Julian Priester, Herb Ellis, Buddy DeFranco, Pete Christlieb, Joanne Brackeen, Jon Faddis, Jack Sheldon, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Kenny Rankin, Joe Locke, Hal Galper, Jessica Williams, and countless others. Along with numerous jingle, film-score, demo & multi-media recording sessions, he’s appeared on more than 90 albums including sessions involving Rudy Van Gelder & Teo Macero, and a Grammy-nominated recording on RCA with singer Mark Murphy. Bishop was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2008.
Presently, Bishop records and tours with the Hal Galper Trio, and the cooperative bands – “Scenes” with John Stowell & Jeff Johnson, and “Wellstone Conspiracy” with Brent Jensen, Bill Anschell, & Jeff Johnson.
“Bishop’s drumming is unfailingly imaginative and fervid.” – CODA Magazine
Born in Seattle and raised in Germany, Washington, DC, San Antonio and Eugene, Bishop started playing drums at 9 in Washington, DC with the Patriots drum corp. He played in multiple bands throughout high school and college, attending the University of Oregon and North Texas State University. He moved to Seattle in 1981 where he became a member of the group Blue Sky, which released two albums and performed extensively throughout the west coast and Canada.
For 20 years, he was a member of the piano trio New Stories along with pianist Marc Seales and bassist Doug Miller. They had 4 CDs of their own, 6 with the late be-bop saxophone great Don Lanphere, and a Grammy nominated RCA recording with Mark Murphy. They were a house trio for 17 years at Bud Shank’s Pt. Townsend Jazz Festival, headlined the 1993 JVC Jazz Festival in Vladivostok, Russia, appeared in concert with Tom Harrell, Sonny Fortune, Charles McPherson, Vincent Herring, Nick Brignola, Jane Monheit, Conte Condoli, Bobby Shew, Jon Faddis, & Larry Coryell, and regularly appeared around the country by themselves or with Mark Murphy or Ernie Watts. Their music was included on a compilation CD for Universal Music entitled: “Repertoire: A Starbuck’s Collection of Unforgettable Piano Jazz,” and was embedded as a music sample in Windows XP. Their recording, “Hope is in the Air: the Music of Elmo Hope,” was produced by Don Sickler, recorded by Rudy Van Gelder, and peaked at # 6 over 18 weeks on the national airplay charts.
“The New Stories trio is likewise nothing less than extraordinary. Drummer John Bishop, particularly, is one of the finest on the scene.” – Jazz Review
Besides his jazz work, Bishop has toured nationally and internationally with Buddy Greco, the McGuire Sisters, and the Harry James Orchestra, and has performed with Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Bob Newhart, Rich Little, The Hi-Los, Frankie Avalon, the Drifters, the Coasters, the Platters, Pete Barbutti, the Seattle Symphony and many others.
In 1997, Bishop started Origin Records (named Jazzweek’s 2009 “Label Of The Year”) and OriginArts, a graphic design & CD production company, to help further the exposure of creative artists and their music. In partnership with his ex-drum student, Matt Jorgensen, they have released over 370 recordings by 240 artists. In 2002 they added another jazz label, OA2 Records, a classical imprint, Origin Classical in 2008, and in 2003 began Seattle’s annual Ballard Jazz Festival. He has designed 400 CD packages and multiple book covers, banners, posters, and other graphics for clients around the globe.