Grammy-nominated drummer and composer, Johnathan Blake, has been working steadily in the contemporary jazz scene for the past 10 years. He has been a first-call drummer for many notable jazz musicians such as Russell Malone, Tom Harrell, David Sanchez, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, and Oliver Lake to name a few. His musicianship, professionalism, and positive attitude are a few of the attributes that make him the choice drummer for many. In addition to being a sideman, Johnathan performs with his own group internationally.
Johnathan Blake was born in Philadelphia on July 1st, 1976, son of a world- renown jazz violinist, John Blake, Jr. Naturally, Johnathan was introduced to the world of jazz music by his father from early on. Although, Johnathan began playing violin at age three under his father’s guidance, he never felt at home with the instrument. He always felt a close connection to the drums in spite of his father’s desire for Johnathan to become a violinist.
When Johnathan was 10 years old, a visiting music teacher at his elementary school allowed him to choose an instrument after Johnathan scored perfect on the music aptitude test. Without hesitation, Johnathan picked the drum set. He started taking lessons at the school and it became clear to everyone very quickly that the drums, indeed, was his instrument.
In middle school, Johnathan performed with the jazz band for the first time. He won several awards, including Outstanding Achievement Award in Music. Beginning at age 12, Johnathan was involved with the Lovett Hines Youth Ensemble, where he met his long-time friend and musical partner, Jaleel Shaw. With the Lovett Hines Youth Ensemble, Johnathan performed regularly in the Philadelphia area.