Jon Gomm - Topeka
Jon Gomm started playing ukulele at the age of two. Classical guitar lessons began at the age of six, and at twelve he was accompanying his father, a music critic, to blues gigs in his hometown of Blackpool. As a teenager he played electric guitar in the style of the rock greats.
On leaving school, Jon Gomm turned down a place at Oxford University studying English to attend The Guitar Institute (now part of the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance) in London. While there, he paid his way through college playing jazz in café-bars, recording as a session guitarist, and playing Country music in Working men's clubs for line-dancers. He moved to the Yorkshire city of Leeds, where he is now based,[when?] to study on the Jazz degree course at Leeds College of Music.
His solo performances started in Leeds. He extended the sounds he could make with an acoustic guitar — hitting the surface to make snare drum, bass drum and bongo sounds, re-tuning the strings to get bass sounds, and using high harmonics from the guitar for synthesizer-like effects. He worked these techniques into his own songs, and put his years of singing blues into use.
Musically he is a disciple of Michael Hedges, and as such part of a generation of guitarists using extended techniques which includes Andy McKee and Erik Mongrain. The tattoo on his arm is from the cover of the Michael Hedges album Oracle.
Jon Gomm has rejected mainstream music industry values and practices and avoids playing chain venues and corporate festivals. His appearances are generally organised with independent promoters in venues like real ale pubs in rural areas, theatres or arts centre.
In addition to his own performances, he has also played gigs with Tommy Emmanuel (Australia), Nick Harper and Bob Brozman.
He has performed at festivals including The Italian National Guitar Festival, The Garforth Arts Festival and The London Guitar Show at Wembley Arena. He performs regularly across the UK and Europe.
In February 2012 a video of him performing his song "Passionflower" was the subject of a tweet from the broadcaster Stephen Fry, leading to articles in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph newspapers. This led to him appearing on several television shows and being booked for gigs and tours around the world during 2012, as well as releasing an instrumental cover of Chaka Khan's classic "Ain't Nobody".
In 2013, he announced that he was releasing an album later that year, which would include the three singles he had released in 2012 and some completely new material. As well as this, a new version of his cover of "Ain't Nobody" was released, which featured vocals from British singer Daniel Tompkins (In Colour, Skyharbor, ex-TesseracT).
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