Jonathan Lewis More About Me

Beginnings

Music and sound have been a constant part of my life, from the very beginning. Many nights, I would fall asleep to the sound of my father or sister practicing piano and/or singing in the living room, just down the hall from my bedroom. Even before I started lessons, I can remember being no more than 4 years old, standing at the piano with one foot on the sustain pedal, playing quasi-random notes with my fingers, and just luxuriating in the lush sounds which seemed to completely envelope me.

My musical upbringing was classical, on the violin, viola, and piano. I was taught in a hybrid of standard western music education and Suzuki method. I had private lessons, group classes, string camps int he summers, quartet camps, and youth orchestra, including two summers with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. My teachers and mentors included Wendy Herbison, Heilwig von Konigsloew, and Ian Hampton.

After I graduated high school, I went on to study viola with inimitable Nick Pulos at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Upon finishing there, I departed from the classical world, getting into rock first, and then into many other styles. Along the way, I learned hoot improvise and create my own music. All the while, I never fully abandoned my classical roots, even if I wasn't playing classical professionally.

Theatre

In 1995, one of my bands, The Plaid Tongued Devils, was hired by One Yellow Rabbit Theatre to be the entertainment for one of their infamous theatre parties. It was at that party that I met David Rhymer, Blake Brooker, Denise Clarke, and Michael Green. Soon, I was invited to participate in the creation (and performance) of a show with them, Mata Hari, Tigress at the City Gates. It was a relationship destined to last, and I've been a part of numerous other shows with OYR including In Klezskavania, Dream Machine, YYC I Love You, and Moon, Moon, No Moon.

Through OYR, I was led into the world of theatre, as both a composer/designer, and as a performing musician. Since that first fateful meeting, I've been a part of many shows, at companies such as Theatre Calgary, Green Fools Theatre (COU - a Circus of Unity), Vertigo Theatre, Western Canadian Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, The Citadel Theatre, Broadway Across Canada, Stage West, Quest Theatre and many others.

Greece, Rock, & Jazz

Along the way, when not working in theatre, I found myself drawn towards other forms of music. Besides rocking out with The Plaid Tongued Devils (once described on CBC as the "loudest folk folk band in Canada), I found my way to jazz with Mark Limacher, The Bow Djangos, and The Fedora Club, and most especially, to Greek music with The Rembetika Hipsters. My interest in Greek music has led me travel to Greece ten times, since my first trip there in 2006. I go both to study and to simply enjoy the fantastic things Greece has to offer; history, nature, archaeology, music, food, and of course, my many wonderful friends there. If you are ever in the northwest of Greece, drop in to a little village called Polydroso, have a drink and a meal at Kafeneio I Omonia, and tell them I sent you!

Flamenco

My relationship with flamenco began in 2007 with an invitation to participate in a flamenco fusion show entitled Raices – A Journey Through the Roots of Flamenco. Since then, I've participated in many shows throughout Alberta.

In 2016, with my partner Anastassiia La Musa, we formed an ensemble, 12 Musas. We have produced shows featuring material of a more contempoary and explorative nature.
I am also a member of Calgary flamenco ensemble, Notas de 4.

Recently, I have even begun to work with flamenco artists in Mexico City, though Interflamenca Contemporary Flamenco company.

Conclusion

I even occasionally dabble in country and/or western music. For ten years, I've been a part of the annual January 1 Hankover show, at the Ironwood Stage & Grill in Calgary; a night celebrating the life and music of Hank Williams, Sr. For a number of years, I was also a member of a Western swing ensemble, The Hackamores.

Recently, as well as participating in falmenco in Mexico City, I've also collaborated there with various classical musicians, and with a Greek music ensemble Urano Katevata.