Jonathan needs an audience to bounce off of and go to unexpected places. He might decide to see what’s on his transistor radio and loop it. And if the audience is with him he might overdub himself brushing his teeth then play one of his heartfelt poetic ballads to the new funky beat. He might take the mic to the audience and add them to the loop. But then again he might decide to just play the piano by itself and take everyone into a meditative state and then entice people to create three part harmonies. You just never know and he doesn’t know either. 

Jonathan has been playing music around the world for most of his life. He was taught the finer points of gospel music early in his career as he toured the Pentecostal churches of New York City and the south with The Elect Lady Evangelist Shirley Davis. His blues and R&B leanings also landed him gigs with bands such as The Drifters, The Coasters and South African singer Cosbie Mbele. His odd sense of humor brought him together with the notorious Peter Stampfel (Holy Modal Rounders) for a number of albums and tours, culminating in the job of producing and recording Stampfel’s last album with the Bottlecaps “The Jig is Up”. He also performed and recorded with various Latin bands, a synthesis which brought him together with David Byrne (Talking Heads) for a seven month world tour and the feature film Between the Teeth


Some of the bands Jonathan has been kicked out of just before the first gig are: The B-52s,Noel and Defunkt.

Jonathan has also done a lot of composing and arranging for albums and movies in his own recording studio. He composed, arranged and co-wrote the lyrics for Clarence Carter’s ‘I Got A Thing For You’ included on Carter’s “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” album and his “Greatest Hits” album, both of which remained on the Billboard R&B charts for several weeks.

Jonathan’s latest CD “Osingolio!” was recorded in Kenya. It is the music of the Maasai village of Ngong’u Narok. All proceeds from the sale of the CD go to the village and to the Maasai Media Center, also located in Maasailand which Jonathan helped to create.

“Best's music defies genres but is something like "avant-garde boogie-woogie," both self-revealing and socially conscious, equally silly and serious, and unlike anything else one is likely to see around these parts. His emphasis on sampling, found items, audience involvement, and intimate settings creates a quasi-mystical experience, while his sheer honesty and genuine humility generate a sense of recognition and kinship. In short, Jonathan Best is a musical innovator who deploys his talents in a spirit of community and celebration, not for fame and commercialism as is often the case these days.”
-Randall Amster, producer of the TV series 'The Artist Mind'

"Imagine the intensity of Jerry Lee Lewis's piano playing 
with the deliberate onstage deliberations of Badly Drawn Boy 
and the avant-garde experiments of (insert favorite 
found-sound avant-garde artist here…) and you've got an idea just how quirky and fascinating his performances are."
-Tony Fletcher,

“Any attempt to describe the music of Jonathan Best is bound to fall short. Equal parts Gospel tenor, boogie-woogie piano, and avant-garde sound collage, his music spans cultures and idioms with ease. It also makes startling use of sampled “loop” technology – and it’s this element, perhaps more than any other, that has helped to establish Best as a local musician with a “must-see” live show.”
-Susan DeFreitas, Zene Magazine

© Bubble Music 2011 contact Jonathan at or 1-928-830-4887 banner photo by Scott Sawyer