I was raised in Western New York, in the small town of Lima. This is the real Upstate New York, where your first job was most likely bailing hay and picking corn on a farm.
It wasn’t long before I got into music with piano at a very young age, then trombone in the 4th grade, and a crappy guitar at age 13, which I still have. I was the musician amongst my friends growing up and I just couldn’t shake the name they gave me, “Jonny B”. Many of my summers were spent touring the country with various Drum & Bugle Corps (Crossmen, Patriots, Rochester Crusaders, Empire Statesmen), and upon high school graduation I joined the Marines with a designated MOS of 5524 - trombonist. Before the age of 21, I had travelled across the globe, playing for a variety of audiences including world leaders and royalty.
Following my time in the service, I pursued education in a discipline that was always a passion of mine, Audio Engineering. Being a musician wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to know how we could sculpt sound. I wanted to know how to make it sound natural, how we could modify it, enhance it, and even make it sound ethereal and otherworldly - to discover sound shaping as an art form in itself. In my endeavor I enrolled in SUNY Fredonia and received a Bachelor of Science in Sound Recording. In their Tönmeister program, I learned the fundamentals of audio and acoustics, and practiced the purist form in classical and jazz recording while studying under Bernd Gottinger, and sonic visionary Dave Fridmann.
Immediately following graduation, I dragged my wife to New York City where I began working at The Hit Factory. Starting out as an assistant and working my way up to staff engineer, I was able to learn from today’s top artists, producers, and engineers, working across the whole spectrum of genres that the studio catered to. I had been behind the console for artists such as Kanye West, Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty, Elaine Paige, and Motörhead.
It wasn’t long before my wife and I began thinking about starting a family, so we decided to make the move back home to Rochester so we could be closer to both of our families. I continued to travel and do freelance work when I found an opportunity working at Finger Lakes Community College, and discovered a new passion in education.
Though my studies keep me very occupied, I continue to work with talented musicians “behind the glass”. Some have years of experience while some are struggling to find their “voice”, but both are equally fulfilling. No project is too big or too small. I have produced everything from full-length albums from scratch (working with singer/songwriters who require direction and instrumentation around a song in its infancy), to A1 location recording and editing/mixing a series of ads for Xerox, to the easiest editing of audio for winterguard and dance competitions. It is a pleasure working with people from all walks of life, with a variety of creative backgrounds who share the same passion for the arts.
Riding Shotgun at Nashville's
Come watch me struggle with the pedal steel guitar!
Lake Music Festival
We had another wonderful summer with Kevin Kumar and Amy Sue Barston.
GodSpell at FLCC
Looking forward to another great production!