e-mail ryukyu@souljazzinc.wwma.net

Bio: Jon Taylor

Born into a musical family, Jon Taylor has been playing musical instruments enthusiastically though with limited technical skill since the age of 6. In his teens he played guitar with a surf/punk band, followed by a hardcore punk band, and later a postpunk band who ultimately turned into the Subjects. The Subjects released 4 12"s single in the early 90s - mainly world-music influenced trancey breakbeat stuff (though pretentious music writers and DJs had not yet invented these supposed genres). He also played guitar with working reggae band the Murder City Players and recorded a CD with them for Nighthawk Records. At the time he also did radio shows featuring world music, dub, reggae, hip-hop and electronica and worked for pitiful wages at the local rip-off record store. The job sucked, but here at least Jon widened his musical taste to include dub, soukous, bhangra, Indian film music, jazz, avant garde classical, lounge, Middle Eastern music and ultimately the Nenes and Kina Shoukichi from Okinawa.

Since toiling away in a sea of bad vinyl for the enrichment of boomer petit-bourgeoisie was not an optimal future, Jon went to graduate school, studied geography and through fortuitous circumstances ended up in Okinawa in 1998, where he almost immediately was introduced to Keith Gordon. The rest is (very trivial) history. Jon studied shamisen in Okinawan and in-between drunken sojourns in karaoke bars, Keith and he embarked on adventures in laptop music software resulting in most of the first Ryukyu Underground album. Since then Jon's equipment has greatly improved, resulting in a second album, Mo Ashibi. Jon continues to make music nightly until 3 or 4 in the morning, though a baby is on its way and from what he hears this might slightly affect his schedule.