Jonathan Silk is a Scottish drummer, composer and band leader now living in Birmingham, UK. He graduated from the city’s Conservatoire in 2011 and has since been an up and coming musician and in-demand sideman on the UK’s vibrant Jazz scene. As a leader he has multiple projects to his name. The dynamic improvising quartet FORJ is designed to give maximum space to the musicians in the group for freedom and improvisation. His large ensemble project has recorded and released two albums; the first Uncouth featuring trumpet virtuoso Percy Pursglove with the 18-strong big band, the second Fragment augmenting this big band with a 13-piece string orchestra. He performs regularly across the UK both with his own projects and as a sideman with a variety of other musicians. Some of these projects include working with dynamic piano trio Meraki featuring Jacky Naylor and Nick Jurd, singer/songwriter Sara Colman, rock-influenced brass band Young Pilgrims, saxophonist Mike Fletcher, trumpeter Tom Syson and holding the drum chair in the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra. Jonathan has also recorded on a number of releases with these projects and more.
As a composer/arranger, Jonathan has studied with two of the worlds most renowned writers; Maria Schneider and Vince Mendoza. With a focus on contemporary composition and large ensemble arranging this has led to arranging work for large and small ensembles alike. Jonathan arranged all the string quartet parts on Sara Colman’s latest album What We’re Made Of and is the arranger and musical director for Ray Prince’s Gospel Revisited Project. He has recently worked with spoken word artist Juice Aleem arranging a series of his pieces for big band and continues to write his own material.
As an educator, Jonathan leads the jazz provision at the University of Birmingham running their flagship Jazz Orchestra and co-ordinating a variety of small groups and coaching sessions. He has many years experience working in schools and community projects as well as co-ordinating and tutoring workshops and courses.
Jonathan is a Stoney Lane Records artist and continues to be highly active on the Birmingham and UK-wide Jazz scene.