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Jonathan Barker: Bio

I was born in Staunton, Virginia. I started playing piano at the age of 8, taking lessons from a friend's mother, Carol Jo. I primarily learned classical and popular music. In high school, I realized I could be playing rock n roll and started trying to learn more by ear. I also began writing my own music but never explored recording it seriously. I went to Virginia Tech in 1987 and the music scene was thriving! I couldn't believe how alive it was and it exposed me to some great music and musicians. In 1989, I was asked to join the Electric Woodshed and we played the college circuit throughout the region. I also joined some friends to work on an original project called a number of names but lastly settled on Zookeeper. In 1994, I moved to Roanoke, VA and discovered that Roanoke had tremendous local talent as well and I quickly became immersed in the music scene here. Furthermore, I had more freedom to sing and explore my own voice and as such, I began writing more originals. Finally, in 2001, I started pulling together songs I had written over the years combined with some new material and released my first solo project (Jonathan) in 2002. It took some time, but a second CD (Mojo) was released in 2009 with more songs written over the past few years. JBIII was released September 2016 and is available online.  

Live music is rampant with numerous bands: Runaway Jones, Electric Woodshed, The Other White Meat (aka Two Dudes), Jivin' Honkies, Groovascape, Hot Sauce, and other sit-ins..