jon ji
jon ji i guess i've always been an outsider. the hippies called me a punk, the punkers called me a hippie. the confederates, a rebel, and the girls, an angel, the devil, and a tart. i guess they are right.

i went to dead concerts with a mohawk, and black flag in a tie-die. for a while i was a hardcore goth skate punk, till i got tired of conforming to non-conformity. right here, things took a hard left. somehow i got really into jazz. a classmate gave me a tape one day. yes, a tape. and i was intrigued. i started taping the jazz shows on the local college station while i was at school, and listening to them when i got home. i had this great box that i could set a timer on! it was so cool, i never knew what i'd get. it was like christmas every day. seriously. now, i really was a rebel, a 16 year old kid listening obsessively to music of the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

so, i went to jazz school, but the guitar was the bastard in music school. i think they resented the fact that guitar took over popular music in the 20th century. for whatever reason, the jazzer looks at it like a hillbilly instrument, and the classical see it as a peasant instrument. so, didn't find home here either.

it's always been this way. grew up a catholic school kid living a block from the public school. our bus stop was actually right in front of their school, right by the flagpole. so many battles fought there and after school on side streets.

once out of college, i drifted around the country for a couple of years. sometimes living somewhere for months, sometimes just weeks. austin, idaho, oregon, albuquerque, chapel hill, and finally san diego.

i had abandoned the jazz only world. some jazzers are a lot like some indie kids. or they can be. really snotty. there are great people in each, but the culture of jazz is often elitism, and, ironically, the same with indie kids. that's not freedom or open-minded. so, nevermind, i played every kind of music. i mean everything from french cabaret music to drop-d sludge rock. all the while, i've had this underlying vision, this mission i'm on. i want to bring jazz back. in the way it was when billie holiday was singing. popular, accessible, yet not compromised, schmaltzy or cheesy. and not fusion either, if you know what that's all about. i want to make it relevant again. i want to help redefine it. jazz is a way to play, a way to approach music. sure, the word jazz means many things, but that's a whole other story. i mean the way to play. i want to make music that regular people will feel, yet be true to the jazz spirit of freedom.

after many false starts, drama and lifestyle induced implosions, it is finally happening. all the music i love is finally simmering together nicely. still outsider music, but i'm happy in my own skin now, and i couldn't ask for anything better.

Influences:ish: meets chet baker meets joao bosco meets miles davis meets sonny terry and brownie mcghee meets the pixies meets tribe called quest meets jim hall and ron carter meets the violent femmes meets gilberto gil meets pentangle meets the beatles meets portishead meets john coltrane.