Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Wikan, Jon

Wikan, Jon, drummer; b. Petersburg, Alaska, 8 May 1969. Wikan was transplanted to Seattle, Washington at age 13. His parents are John Bojer Wikan (born Oct 27th 1949 in Petersburg, Ak) and Debbie Hamilton (maiden name). His dad is a mechanic. His Mother was born 2/8/1952 in Seattle, Wa at Swedish Hospital. Wikan has accompanied a cross-section of leaders, ranging from singers Ernestine Anderson, Mark Murphy and Freddy Cole to established horn players such as Bud Shank, Ingrid Jensen, and Pete Cristlieb.

He was turned on to the drums in high school there and began spending the summer months back in Alaska commercial fishing with his grandfather in order to buy his first drum set, as well as saving money for college. While attending high school in Seattle, he began playing in the school jazz band and was bitten by the jazz- bug through listening to old recordings, which his peers and teachers made for him.

From 1988-95 Wikan attended Central Washington University. Within this period he took a year off to tour with the legendary Mills Brothers and Ellington alumni Herb Jefferies. The road experience paid off as he was soon called to work with vocalist Ernestine Anderson. During his travels he managed to study with some of the great drum masters such as Chico Hamilton, Carl Allen, and Jeff Hamilton.

In 1996 Wikan immersed himself in the Seattle jazz scene and was taken under the wings of multi-horn man Jay Thomas, Bill Ramsay, and composer James Knapp. During this period he became one of the busiest sidemen in the northwest area backing international artists including Pat Labarbra, Herb Ellis, John Fedchock, Rick Margitza, Buddy Collette, Roswell Rudd, Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling, Bobby Shew, Brad Turner, Jessica Williams and Dan Faehnle.

Wikans' recent move to New York City immediately landed him a record date with pianist Geoff Keezer, a tour of Japan with Downbeat Vocalist of the Year, Mark Murphy and a week at the Blue Note with Grammy award winners, the New York Voices. As well, he performed with the Ingrid Jensen Quartet at the Detroit jazz festival, the Mary Lou Williams Jazz festival, the Savannah Jazz Festival and a live CBC radio concert in Montreal. Other artists Jon has played with include; Karrin Allyson, Sam Yahel, Ron Affif, Seamus Blake, Marcus Strickland, Jay Collins, David Budway, Mark Elf, David Berkman, Jeffery Smith, Antonia Bennett, and young piano prodigy, Aaron Parks.

He is an active clinician/ teacher, teaching privately at The New School University and out of his home studio in Queens, NY. He is also an emerging composer, writing music for various large and small groups which he both leads and plays in. September of 2001, Jon was chosen to participate in the BMI jazz composer's workshop in New York City, which gave him an opportunity to study with composers Jim McNeely and Mike Abene.  Jon's most recent project has been the formation and recording of a new band called project O with co-leaders Ingrid Jensen (trumpet) and Gary Versace (B-3 organ) and saxophone players Seamus Blake, Steve Wilson and Christine Jensen. The bands' recent 2-week West Coast (US/Canada) tour found Project O playing to sold out crowds including 3 nights at The 2002 Earshot International Jazz Festival.

Lubag/Wikan Jazz Trio: Lubag/Wikan Jazz Trio (1990); Jay Thomas: 360 Degrees (1994), Rapture (1996); Jim Knapp Orchestra: On Going Home (1996); Pete Cristlieb/Bill Ramsay: Kellys' Heros (1997); Dave Marriott Jr.: In The Beginning (1998); Emerald City Jazz Orchestra: Alive and Swingin (1998); Theatro Zinzanie: Ann Wilson and Co (1999); The Marriott Quintet: The High Country (1999); Jim Knapp Orchestra: Things For Now (1999); Jay Thomas: 12th and Jackson (Live at the Cotton Club (1999), Live At Tulas (2000); Jay Thomas: Live At Tulas 2 (2001); Becca Duran: If You Could See Me Now (2001); Chuck Bergeron: Cause and Effect (2001); Christine Jensen: A Shorter Distance (2002); Project O: Now As Then (2003); Michelle Conte: Lucky Me (2003); Kelly Johnson: Music is The Magic (2003); Jim Knapp Orchestra: Untitled (2003)

Soundtrack of "Starstruck"

Contact information: 
phone # 646-298-6878 

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