Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo
BM Guitar Performance, Berklee College of Music
Additional focus in Composition & Audio Production.
Recipient of Berklee Achievement Scholarship & John Philip Sousa Award.
Graduated Magna cum Laude, Dean’s List
Private & Clinical Instruction from G.E. Smith, Larry Coryell, Roy Book Binder, Bill Kirchen, Patrick Sweaney, and Norman Zocher.
Jonathan Hawkins is a DC-based guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, composer, and audio engineer. With an early upbringing of blues, early jazz, and folk-inspired music, Jonathan’s study and influences include elements of jazz, classical, with ever-present American, Brazilian, Malawian, and Spanish roots.
Jonathan has performed, taught, and entertained audiences world-wide, both as backing guitarist and showband guitarist. He has been featured in solo billings, and his commercial music credits include Nat’l and International tours of Broadway musicals “Mamma Mia!”, Farewell Tour”, “Flashdance: The Musical”, and “Bullets Over Broadway” ‘s 1st National Tour. Local credits include composing and performing for DC’s Studio Theatre productions, as well as regionally throughout the Midwest and Northeast as a hired guitarist & multi-instrumentalist.
With intense musical elements and dynamic presence on stage, Jonathan performs lead guitar and backup vocals in the high-energy Maryland-based rock band Signal 13, voted Best Baltimore Band in 2020 by Baltimore Magazine. After their debut album “Destination Unknown,” Signal 13 picked up Hawkins to perform and assist in the re-writing and re-branding of the band’s earlier material, as well as co-composing new material for further releases. Jonathan has had the pleasure to perform with the band on opening slots for Tesla, Winger, KIX, Vixen, Steven Adler, as well as festival spots on the 2021 Monsters on the Mountain and 2022 Monsters of Rock Cruise.
In addition to band work, Jonathan performs solo acts of varying styles, incorporating influences and performance styles of jazz, pop, world music, and extended techniques/altered tunings.
Jonathan has lead instruction in group and private settings, specializing in band performance and organization, guitar, bass, keyboard/synthesizer, and audio production.
Jonathan has served as director and lead instructor for “Rock Band Camp,” a student-band educational program designed in partnership with Southeast Ohio’s French Art Colony and Ariel Opera House. Jonathan also serves as sound designer and Music Director for the DC School of Rock.
In addition to band and individual programs, Jonathan designs sound systems specializing in remote/distance performance, utilizing concepts and technologies found in Broadway pit orchestras, backing bands of large-scale performances, and professional ensembles worldwide.
“I was first drawn to Levine by reputation, and was compelled to submit my portfolio after seeing the dedication to excellence found in their staff and student body.”– Jonathan Franklin Hawkins
As a new instructor, Jonathan is very excited at the prospect of helping to grow passion in music, excellence in performance, and confidence in one’s own abilities. His greatest goal, outside of a well-rounded music education, would be that students can take pieces of his instruction in music to develop skills and good habits outside of the music and performance world.
Teaching Philosophy and Approach
A student of G.E. Smith, Larry Coryell, Roy Book Binder, Tim Miller, and Peter Huttlinger, Jonathan graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s in Professional Performance on Guitar from Berklee College of Music. A recipient of the John Phillip Sousa Award and Berklee Achievement Scholarship, Jonathan’s teaching philosophy centers around the idea that the discipline, focus, and confidence gained while breaking down & mastering a skill will enhance one’s greater perception of one’s own abilities, limitations, and goals, regardless of the learned medium or skill.
Through setting goals that are both realistic and challenging, breaking down material into smaller, easily-approached segments, and “putting the song under the microscope,” Jonathan’s approach to music demystifies many aspects of music theory and performance, allowing students access to material that may have seemed out-of-reach on their own.
Jonathan places great emphasis in planning out and setting goals, regular practice and study, and honest reflections and observations of one’s own progress.
In spite of the intense description, Jonathan has found success with this philosophy with students of all ages, experience levels, and walks of life.
Jonathan stays busy arranging, composing, and producing music/audio for commission, theatrical productions, and studio albums. Jonathan’s work has been featured in DC (and non-local) musicals, cruise-line production shows, adultswim.com games/apps, and a variety of virtual-reality installations hosted in museums nation-wide.
Jonathan is a Private Pilot and member of Clearview Flying Club in Westminster, MD. He is a lover of the outdoors, bicycles and motorcycles, and the sea, with a dream of receiving a skipper’s certification in sailing and working up to a solo Atlantic crossing in a sailing vessel.
Outside of music and aviation, Jonathan enjoys the study of early cultures’ history, particularly the developments and discoveries found in the era of early humans, where concepts of mathematical and abstract representations, ritual, and religion are suspected to first emerge.