Jon Wood is an active professional musician in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with performances on guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, and cajon. Venues Jon has performed at include Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis for their Monday Night Artist Feature and Thursday Night Vocal Series, the Artist's Quarter in St. Paul, the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, The St. Paul Art Crawl, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater and School, Honey Restaurant, Bedlam Theater, Thursday Musical, Minnesota Public Radio's KBEM 88.5, and a performance at Orchestra Hall that was nationally re-broadcast by Twin Cities Public Television (TPT).
Jon regularly performs for private parties, weddings, musicals, and restaurants. Jon is currently a member of the Cedar Avenue Big Band, The Jazz on The Prairie Big Band, and a regular sub for four other big bands in the Twin Cities area including Acme Jazz Company Big Band. Jon has experience performing in pit orchestras across the twin cities and has performed guitar/mandolin/ukulele/banjo in Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Shrek, and several other musical productions. In addition to being a member of several bands, Jon is also the leader of two of his own ensembles: Iron Chops, a jazz group comprising his original music and arrangements of standards, and Strange Ear Riddle, a classical music ensemble. The most compelling element of Jon's performances are the diverse range of styles he plays: classical, jazz, gypsy jazz, tango, Mediterranean music, Latin jazz, bossa nova, flamenco, blues, R & B, rock & roll, pop, folk, blue grass, country and more.
In addition to an extensive performing background, Jon is also involved in music education. As a private studio instructor Jon teaches a multitude of styles on guitar, electric bass, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele (all instruments on which he has had professional performing experience). Along with private instruction, Jon also has taught at Schmitt Music in Wayzata and Groth Music in Bloomington. Jon was an assistant instructor at University of St. Thomas (UST) in the spring of 2012 for the guitar pedagogy class for music education majors and he directed the UST guitar ensemble in their Fall 2011 performances. Jon was a graduate assistant at Illinois State University (ISU) where he taught courses on guitar performance, directed a guitar small ensemble, contributed to the ISU guitar society, and handled other administrative duties. Jon also served as adjunct guitar and bass faculty member of the Lincoln College (Lincoln, IL) music department.
Jon graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in classical guitar performance. While in graduate school, Jon had the opportunity to study privately with Rene Izquerdo at University of Wisconsin Milwuakee where Jon has developed a deeper understanding of classical guitar technique.
Jon released three recordings in 2015 (that you can hear and download on this website under "Album and Band") featuring his original jazz compositions (Far From Home), a solo classical guitar album (Chitarra Sonata), and a live album of Jon's band "Iron Chops" (Iron Chops Live at Jazz Central). Jon was interviewed about both of his studio albums by Phil Nusbaum on Minnesota Public Radio's KBEM 88.5fm jazz radio station for their Twin Cities Weekend series (Jazz88, http://jazz88.mpls.k12.mn.us/ ). You can hear that interview here:
In addition to his recoding projects, Jon recently became a performing member for Thursday Musical (http://www.thursdaymusical.org/) and was also featured at the Minnesota Jazz Guitar Summit, an event held at Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis in January 2015 featuring some of the top jazz guitarists in the Twin Cities area: