Jonathan Crossley started playing classical guitar at an early age shortly after his family immigrated to South Africa from Belfast, Northern Ireland, when he was six years old. Since then he has won many music awards, including the ‘Concours Panafrican de Musique et des Arts’ International Guitar Competition, the overall winner in the ATKV-Forte ’95 competition, the fi rst time this competition was won by a guitarist, fi rst prize in the guitar category of the Pretoria Music Society Competition (1993) and overall joint winner of the Classical Guitar Society of Southern Africa Competition (1997), as well as a SAMA nomination for his recording, ‘Dreams of Skilia’. During 1995 he was invited to study under maestro Eliot Fisk in Cordoba, Spain, and subsequently studied with composer/guitarist Helmut Jasbar in Vienna and jazz with the late jazz guitar guru, Johnny Fourie.
Crossley is one of the few South African guitarists who are equally adept in both the classical and jazz genres. Besides his performances as a soloist with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, he has worked with many local and international musicians, such as Paul Hanmer, Oleta Adams, Andy Narell, Johnny Fourie and Marcus Wyatt, to name but a few, and performs and records his own music around the world with his band ‘The Jonathan Crossley Electric Band’.
Jonathan has a great interest in ‘Explorations in Electronica’, one of the courses that he currently teaches at Wits University where he is completing a PhD that investigates the technology/body interface. He is aiming to develop a new guitar based instrument as part of a greater cybernetic performance system.