Jonathan Armstrong is a fiercely creative musician, composer and educator living in Los Angeles. His background is a mix of intensive academic training and extensive professional experiences on saxophones, guitar, piano, clarinet, flute, bass, and electronic sampler. He holds a B.M. in Music from the University of Washington and a M.F.A. in Jazz Reeds from the California Institute of the Arts. He studied composition and theory with John Rahn, Jonathan Bernhard and Robert Wannamaker, and pursued improvisational studies with Marc Seales, Larry Koonse, Vinny Golia, Thara Memory, Charlie Haden and Wadada Leo Smith. He also studied tenor saxophone with Michael Brockman and various world music traditions including Gamelan music from Indonesia, North Indian Classical Music, Persian Classical Music, and in depth private studies in Anlo-Ewe music from Ghana.
Jonathan maintains a busy performance schedule as a highly sought after musician in Los Angeles. Along with frequent gigs and recording sessions, he plays regularly with bands led by Mike Barone, Vincent Gallo, Bennie Maupin, Vinny Golia, and Dan Rosenboom. Jonathan also founded the critically acclaimed modern jazz quartet Slumgum and the cutting edge electronic psychedelic group Pitch Like Masses. He has performed with these projects throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.
As a composer, Jonathan has written music for film and theatre. In 2012 he composed and conducted an original score for a nine-piece chamber group in the ground-breaking theatre piece “Homo Economicus”. In addition, his original contemporary classical pieces are premiered frequently around Los Angeles. These pieces represent a wide variety of ensembles from solo piano to a 20 piece large ensemble that features elements of improvised conduction and a spoken word artist.