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Jonathan Best, “Building Bridges”

August 3, 2019 @ 3:00 pm

Preservation New Jersey welcomes Jonathan Best in his first appearance at the 1867 Sanctuary as part of his Building Bridges tour.

Jonathan Best is one of the worlds virtuoso pianists, singers, song creators, and blues artists. He also is a great free music player in almost any form from jazz to contemporary music. It has been my pleasure to hear him play and also witness his inspirational teaching. Perhaps most importantly is that he is a humanitarian of the highest order.  – David Darling: Grammy winning music innovator and educator.

At a time when music, film and the arts in general are more and more computer generated, which manifests less and less of our soul, Jonathan Best reminds us that there is a better way. His music is nothing if not real, visceral and absolutely transformative. –  Angel Fernandez: Producer, Composer, Arranger and Instrumentalist (David Byrne, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Talking Heads).

Any attempt to describe the music of Jonathan Best is bound to fall short. Equal parts Gospel tenor, boogie-woogie piano, and avant-garde sound collage, his music spans cultures and idioms with ease. It also makes startling use of sampled “loop” technology – and it’s this element, perhaps more than any other, that has helped to establish Best as a local musician with a “must-see” live show. – Susan DeFreitas, Zene Magazine

Jonathan Best has been playing and teaching music full time all his adult life.  He performed on the street corners of NYC, in churches with gospel groups, on stages with the Drifters and the Coasters, and toured the world with Talking Heads leader David Byrne.

Although he studied piano, composition, jazz ensemble playing, orchestration, and western music theory at Merrit College, California State University, Yavapai College and Rockland Community College, most of his learning took place on stages and with students.

He owned and operated a recording studio in Manhattan for twenty years where he produced many albums and soundtracks. From 2007 to 2010 he made frequent trips to Kenya to work with the Maasai communities in building a media center where he learned first hand how music played by an entire village can help sustain a community through drought, impoverishment and oppression.  Through this same period he enrolled and graduated from Music For People’s four year Musician Leadership Program where he learned first hand how to facilitate this same healing music within his communities back home.

Jonathan joined the faculty of Prescott college in 2018 where he now teaches. The only prerequisite for studying with Jonathan is to be alive.

He now dedicates his life to building community through participatory, all-inclusive music making to support the survival and evolution of humankind.  And he will travel wherever he is called to help.

Lately, he has been called to travel to the border between the US and Mexico where he uses music to bridge divides. A song came to him at a Trump rally called Build the Bridges which has been translated into four languages with hopes for many more. He has created a movie collage of the song performed in various places by many different people. He will bring this project on the road for the summer of 2019.

You can go to his web site, listen to his music or watch his videos.

To Purchase Tickets

  • $20 for General Admission
  • $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary
  • $5 for School and College students with ID
  • $15 per person for Groups of 10 or more**

Tickets can be purchased online or reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing 1867sanctuary@preservationnj.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows. (Sorry – we don’t mail tickets. Tickets will be held at the box office and a receipt will be emailed from PayPal if purchased online.)

**GROUP RATES (10 or more people). Group rates apply only to advance online sales and must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rate tickets cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert.

Choose Ticket Option (price per ticket):
Group, School or other info:

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Become a Friend of the Sanctuary and Save $5 per Ticket!

For only $30.00 per year ($50.00 for families), members of the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary receive  $5 off our General Admission concert tickets for ALL of 2019!


August 3, 2019
3:00 pm
Event Category:


1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
101 Scotch Road + Google Map