- Program:Jazz Studies
Since first arriving to Los Angeles in 2014, trombonist, composer and B.A.C. endorsing artist Jon Hatamiya has established himself as a go-to creative and improvising musician in L.A.’s vast music scene. Noted as one of the most promising trombonists to emerge from the Sacramento area, Hatamiya’s journey led him to New York and then Los Angeles, where he is based today. He was recognized in the August 2011 edition of Jet Magazine as the only trombonist on Wynton Marsalis’ list of “Who’s Got Next,” which highlights the next generation of rising jazz artists. He released his debut album as a leader, More Than Anything, via Orenda Records in early 2020, as well as an electronic EP, “Some Might Say (Revisited),” in December 2020.
As a performer, Hatamiya has established a wide-ranging reputation reflecting his diverse musical interests. In the big band world, he is known as a lead trombone specialist with a soulful and fiery resonance, as well as a supportive and responsive section player. This versatility and knowledge of the big band tradition has led him to performances and recordings as lead trombone with the Kyle Athayde Dance Party, Jacob Mann Big Band, and the big band on Michael Bublé’s albums Love (2018) and the Grammy Award-winning Higher (2022). He has also appeared as a member of the trombone sections of the Bob Mintzer Big Band, John Daversa Progressive Big Band and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, among others.
Jon Hatamiya is widely regarded as an imaginative and receptive improviser, and a proponent of the trombone as a modern creative voice. He appears in numerous smaller group settings that emphasize improvisation, musical communication and spontaneity, such as nopanda (Los Angeles-based quartet) and SMILES (collective quintet with members based all over the U.S.). He has served as a sideman and featured soloist in performance, touring and recording with artists such as Louis Cole (including Live 2019 and the Grammy-nominated Quality Over Opinion), Knower, David Binney, Luca Alemanno, Paul Cornish’s BANNED, Logan Kane’s Flotation Band, Floor Plans and Nonet.
Hatamiya is active as an educator, having been faculty at the Lafayette Summer Music Jazz Workshop, Stanford Jazz Workshop, guest clinician at the Sitka Jazz Festival and Stanislaus State Jazz Festival, and a traveling clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival. He is currently an instructor of jazz trombone at the USC Thornton School of Music and a director of Thornton’s Concert Jazz Orchestra. He also works as a bandleader with the New York City-based jazz-rock fusion band XD 7 (with two self-released recordings) and the Jon Hatamiya Big Band, as well as several other ensembles under his own name ranging from trio to nonet.
His work as a composer and arranger (beyond in his own groups) includes commissions from Los Angeles trombone quartet Skinny Lips and Sound Malfunction, Oakwood Brass, SFJAZZ, Fernando Pullum Center, Third Herd Orchestra (Kyoto, Japan), and numerous high school and college-level big bands around the world. Hatamiya received the 2021 Jeff Clayton Memorial New Note Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society, leading to an original, 40-minute work, Where Did it Go? (a reflection on the COVID year), which premiered by the Jon Hatamiya Big Band at the 2021 Angel City Jazz Festival. He has also won the 2021 ASCAP Johnny Mandel Prize, the 2015 and 2021 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, and a 2016 Downbeat Student Music Award for his merits as a composer and arranger. In 2019, he was asked to arrange Australian grade school student-written melodies selected by Herbie Hancock into a theme song for International Jazz Day. His arrangements have been performed by major artists such as Michael McDonald, John Mayer, Aloe Blacc, Jhene Aiko and Jackson Browne.
Jon Hatamiya received his Bachelor of Music degree in jazz trombone performance from Manhattan School of Music (where he was given the John Clark Award for excellence in brass performance), his Master of Music in jazz studies from the USC Thornton School of Music and an additional Master of Music degree from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, now known as the Herbie Hancock Institute.