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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 some 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.

I have been working on a 3rd CD as time and money allows and look forward to putting the newer music into the public eye. Meanwhile, I have had some wonderful outlets to perform including Runaway Jones, Ministers of SOul, The Other White Meat, and other duets and finally... an original project with very talented players doing original music.

Currently, I am also studying classical and popular music and try to expand my repertoire in all directions. My music tastes run far and wide! It's got to have soul to be good music!

Bands: Original project, Runaway Jones, Electric Woodshed, Zookeeper, Satellite of Love, Velveetas, The Other White Meat (aka Two Dudes), John Sines Jr. Band, Ministers of Soul, Porch Gypsies, Dyer & Zannie...