Jonathan is the first jazz vocalist from Scotland to win a place at Berklee College of Music, Boston.
From an early age, he has had an ambition to become a jazz singer and musician. He was the first singer to perform with Tommy Smith’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra and has been wowing all the top jazz musicians since, including Fionna Duncan, Sheila Jordan and Sophie Bancroft.
Jonathan, from Wishaw, is considered to be an outstanding and unique talent in Scotland with a voice, musicality and performance abilities that are described as ‘breathtaking’. One of Scotland’s top jazz musicians writes, “his talent is extraordinary, his potential is enormous and he stands out by miles from a very worthy set of peers.” At his age, this is a rare talent which requires expert nurturing and tuition to enable him to achieve the top of his artistic career.
Jonathan joins a growing and enormously talented group of young Scottish jazz and traditional musicians at Berklee.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award will help towards Jonathan’s expenses to study at Berklee.
Since the Award
After his first year at Berklee, Jonathan writes, "Before I came to Berklee I was strictly a jazz singer but I have developed both as a jazz singer and as a singer/songwriter. When I went home for the summer I reached the final of the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year held with the Glasgow Jazz Festival ...... and I think the people who had heard me sing before saw the effect that just a few months at Berklee has had on me."
Jonathan was offered third year support to continue at Berklee, but wrote to say that 'it is best for my career that I move on and focus on trying to make a successful career as a recording artist'. He goes on to say that 'your help changed my life and there is no doubt none of this would have happened if it hadn't been for your continued generosity'.