Currently based in New York, 34-year- old Jon Wikan is a jazz drummer rapidly garnering praise on the international music scene. He 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.
Born in Petersburg, Alaska, Wikan was transplanted to Seattle Washington at age 5.
He was soon turned on to the drums in his high school band program and began spending the summer months back in Alaska commercial fishing with his grandfather in order to buy his first drum set.
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 studied with some of the great drum masters such as Chico Hamilton, Carl Allen, Jeff Hamilton and Peruvian drum master Hugo Alcazar.
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.
Wikansí recent move to New York City immediately landed him a tour of Japan with Downbeat Vocalist of the Year, Mark Murphy, a week at the Blue Note with Grammy award winners, the New York Voices and a week in Peru playing and teaching with trumpet player Ingrid Jensen. 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 recorded a live CBC radio concert in Montreal. Other artists Jon has recently worked with include; Karrin Allyson, Dina DeíRose, Seamus Blake, Ernie Andrews, Marcus Strickland, Walt Weiskopf, David Budway, Mark Elf, David Berkman, Jeffery Smith, Antonia Bennett, and young piano prodigy, Aaron Parks. Jon is currently touring with Geoffrey Keezerís trio as well as Blues vocalist Maria Muldauar.
Wikan does not limit himself to being just a sideman. He is an active clinician/ teacher, teaching privately at The New School University and around the globe. 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 composerís workshop in New York City, which gave him an opportunity to work with composers Jim McNeely and Mike Abene. In May 2003 Jon recorded his first Jazz Orchestra Demo CD of all his own music.
Jonís 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 stellar saxophone players Seamus Blake, Steve Wilson and Christine Jensen. The bandsí 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. Project O will release their new record entitled Now as Then on Justin-Time records in July of 2003.