All About Jazz

Home » Member Page

John Bishop

About Me

“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 As a drummer, educator, record label owner, graphic designer, publisher, and festival presenter, John Bishop has been one of the primary voices in Northwest Jazz for over 35 years. He has performed in concerts and clubs with Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, George Cables, Kenny Werner, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sonny Fortune, Herb Ellis, Buddy DeFranco, Jack Sheldon, Jerry Bergonzi, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Larry Coryell, and countless others. He’s appeared on more than 100 albums, and was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2008. “Bishop’s drumming is unfailingly imaginative and fervid.” – CODA Magazine In 1997, Bishop started the jazz label 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 550 recordings by 300 artists from around the world. In 2002 they added another jazz label, OA2 Records, a classical imprint, Origin Classical in 2008, and in 2003 began Seattle’s annual 4-day Ballard Jazz Festival. Bishop has designed over 600 CD packages and multiple book covers, banners, posters, and other graphics for clients around the globe. He was on the PNW chapter Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and annually takes part in multiple music conferences & events, including MIDEM (Cannes), the Grammys, JazzConnect (NYC), JazzWeek (San Jose), NAMM, PASIC, and JazzAhead (Bremen). “Great music without exception…a terrific organization and in my opinion, Bishop is one of the best cover designers in the world.” Rudolf Radnai, Muszerordal, Budapest, Hungary Along with bassist Jeff Johnson, Bishop has been a member of New York pianist Hal Galper’s Trio for over a decade. In 2018, with the release of their 6th recording, "Cubist," they’ve expanded to a quartet with the addition of master saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi. They also perform with Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez, and are members of the collective 15-year-old trio "Scenes" with guitarist John Stowell. Bishop has also been with the Chad McCullough / Bram Weijters Group, a Belgian/American project, since 2010. They've recorded 4 albums and tour Belgium annually. “…the high level of integration and communication Hal Galper’s trio displays is rare and quite thrilling to experience…” – DOWNBEAT 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 jr. high, high school and college, attending the University of Oregon and North Texas State University. He moved to Seattle in 1981. 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, and 6 with the late be-bop saxophone great Don Lanphere, among others. 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, Bobby Shew, Jon Faddis, & Larry Coryell, and regularly appeared around the country by themselves or performing with Mark Murphy or Ernie Watts. Their music was included on a compilation for Universal Music entitled: “Repertoire: A Starbuck’s Collection of Unforgettable Piano Jazz,” and their track "Highway Blues" was 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 on the 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 He’s taught drums privately for 40 years, was on the faculty at the University of Washington from 2005-2009, and is presently adjunct at the Cornish College of the Arts. He regularly does drum and jazz workshops throughout the country, often with Hal Galper, including recent events at the University of North Texas, University of Indiana, Dartmouth, Cal Arts, The New School, Purchase Conservatory-NYC, William Paterson University, University of Louisville, San Jose State University, The Jazz School- Berkeley, and Kent State University, among many others.

My Favorites

  1. Astor Piazolla - Tango: Zero Hour
  2. John Coltrane - Sunship
  3. Bill Evans - You Must Believe In Spring
  4. Paul Motian - On Broadway, Pt. 2
  5. Miles Davis - The Complete 1964 Concert