Jonathan Adam Fagan has become an active pianist, composer, and accompanist in the New England area, equally comfortable performing original jazz compositions, chamber music, and lively jigs for folk dances. Planning to record their first album this spring, the “Affinity Quintet” recently completed a two-week tour of the Southwest, playing all original compositions at the Rio Grande Theater, the High Note Jazz Club in Santa Fe, and even a brief segment on Fox Morning News. The album will feature many of Jonathan’s compositions, including the piece “Legacy” he wrote to honor the passing of his advisor Fred Sturm, a renowned jazz educator and composer around the midwest. In 2014, Jonathan performed another original entitled “Phase Change,” along with a Chopin Etude on Wisconsin Public Radio’s broadcast “Live from Harper Hall,” and was featured on the corresponding TV broadcast of “University Place.” The title reflects Jonathan’s fluid identity and growth as a young artist, as he constantly blurs the boundaries between genres in how he approaches both jazz and classical piano.
Jonathan was one of the first regular students of highly innovative pianist Bill Carrothers. He has played with artists as diverse as Kenny Garrett, Peter Erskine, John Clayton, and Kurt Elling, all the while continuing to perform as a classical pianist. In 2011, Jonathan was offered the Bernstein Fellowship at Brandeis University along with a seat as a junior jurist at the Piano Arts National Concerto Competition. He always welcomes opportunities to present classical compositions alongside his own jazz material in solo and collaborative performances.
A strong advocate of community engagement and outreach, Jonathan is a regular performer at nursing homes and community centers. In the fall of 2014, Jonathan and flutist Elizabeth Graber presented a concert of Irish music at a local warming shelter. He and trumpet player Ben Philips improvised on words and phrases offered by the audience at the “Inside Lawrence” concert series in Chicago last February. Their spontaneous characterizations added a new dimension to the program organized by the chamber music ensemble in residency at Lawrence University, “Decoda.” Jonathan recently graduated with a masters degree in Jazz Piano Performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, studying under renowned professors Harold Danko, Clay Jenkins, and Bill Dobbins. He anticipates many more fruitful years of study as he moves back to the Boston area this fall.