Percussionist Jonathan W. Whitney is a passionate musician, inspiring educator, and a tireless advocate for music in all forms. He performed his first gig just after graduating from high school and has been performing ever since in a variety of settings; including jazz big bands and trios, rock cover bands, original rock bands, symphony orchestras and church settings. He performs on drum set, latin and classical percussion, and toured Israel with the University of Delaware percussion ensemble and steel band.
Jonathan has always been a lover of music. As a child, Jonathan spent his summers playing on organs and keyboards and banging on the drum set in the basement, as his father finished fixing instruments for the family organ repair business. In high school, drum and bugle corps became the medium that would introduce him to both classical music and jazz. This was the point when music became his life. He would go on to march six years at the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps in Berlin, New Jersey. After starting his second year of drum corps Jonathan decided to major in music at the University of Delaware. There he took his first formal lessons with Harvey Price and began an in-depth study of music that has continued to this day. While at the University of Delaware he met Vernon James, a student of Bosie Lowery and a Berklee graduate, who began to mentor him as Jonathan began to delve into jazz music. “At that point I was playing vibes and drum set, and Mr. James would turn me on to legendary albums to check out and brought my attention to new improvisational ideas," says Mr. Whitney. Following his time at University of Delaware Jonathan taught for 11 years at the prestigious Tatnall School in Wilmington, DE. During this time he played in many area ensembles on drum set, latin percussion, and classical percussion; including the Lansdowne Symphony.
As a composer and arranger, Jonathan has written music for marching percussion ensembles, jazz bands, pit ensembles, orchestra and wind ensembles. He holds a B.M. in Music Education from the University of Delaware and a M.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts.
Jonathan is currently the artist-in-residence at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington, DE where he presents three jazz vespers a year and facilitates the SsAM Drum Circle.