Jonathan Crayford went to New York in 1993 after many formative years with his father Terry (also a piano player/composer) and mentor Bruno Lawrence (drummer/actor).
Playing piano in the house band of the St Mark's Bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side he became involved with many of the players active in New York and securely established himself as collaborator with some of the finest musicians in the world.
On invitation he returned to New Zealand to perform at the International Festival of the Arts with a powerful jazz trio and to date continues to maintain frequent contact between both bases. In 1998 he toured over 20 countries including Canada, the United States and Europe with Warner Brothers record artists Groove Collective (a 10-piece acid jazz group from New York).
He is currently a member of Bill Ware’s Y2K Jazz Quartet, Kurt Rosenwinkel’s This, and the Dave Binney Group. He has performed and recorded with Groove Collective, Baaba Maal, Victor Jones (Chaka Kahn, Michelle Petruchiani), Clifford Barbaro (Betty Carter, Sun Ra Arkestra), Jay Rodriguez (Ray Barreto, Chucho Valdez) and Afro/Cuban master percussionist Eddie Bobé (Jaco Pastorius, Eddie Palmieri). He is also a key member of New York based Afro/Cuban band Mambo Macoco.
Jonathan has gained international recognition and is in demand as an instrumentalist and composer. He has made it to the cutting edge of the New York scene within many genres of music. In addition to performing and recording, Jonathan composes orchestral scores for feature films and television programs, one of which picked up Best Original Score at the New Zealand Film Awards. More recently he has been composing on commission for New Zealand classical concert pianist Danny Poynton.
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