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Take Five With Jonathan Mele

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Jonathan Mele: Jonathan Mele is a New York City-based drummer/percussionist.

Since moving to New York City in 1996, Jon has performed with many well-known artists including Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Sheila Jordan, Ronan Guilfoyle, Hugh Buckley and Richie Buckley. He played drums on the Van Morrison 2005 Universal/Exile records release Magic Time.

In addition, Jonathan has been writing for and performing with Nicholas Leichter Dance, while also working with other dance companies, including: NYU, Long Island University, Paul Taylor Dance, and Mark Morris.

He plays drums with U.S. based creative improvisers Equilateral, and an internationally-based organ trio, the Jazz Organism, which includes Australian guitarist Jeremy Sawkins and Irish organist Justin Carroll. Jon also performs with the Jeff Holmes Big Band and the New England Jazz Ensemble - groups that play music written by its members as well as music from the jazz ensemble/big band repertoire.

Jon has performed around the world on stage, TV, radio, and in recording studios, including: The Guinness Jazz Festival, Bray Jazz Festival, NYC's River to River festival, Summerstage, RTE (Ireland), Iowa City Jazz Festival, The Windmill Lane Studios, etc. He's also presented numerous clinics in the US and Europe.

Jon owns Tunnel Street Studio, where he writes, records drum and percussion tracks for singers, songwriters, producers, and other musicians, utilizing computers and the collaborative possibilities of the internet.

Jonathan is a Yamaha performing artist and endorses Sabian Cymbals, Evans drumheads, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and Grover Pro Percussion.

Instrument(s): Drums, Percussion.

Teachers and/or influences? Max Roach, Peter Erskine, Jack DeJohnette, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I got my first real drum way back in sixth grade.

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