Jonathan grew up in a family and home filled with music.
Bands, touring and studying including a period in the USA with Rodney Whitaker (Lincoln Centre Orchestra) and jazz luminaries Rufus Reid and Milt Hinton during the 1980’s prepared him well and in the years since he has played with Lionel Loueke, Pharaoh Sanders, Branford Marsalis, Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling, Johnny Griffin, and Nigel Kennedy as well as many of Australia and New Zealand’s most well-known musicians including Katie Noonan, Vince Jones, James Morrison, Tina Harrod, Bernie McGann and Mike Nock.
Besides playing, Jonathan has also co-produced <The Pulse>, a 10-part ABC TV series on Australian jazz, and co-founded the popular Starfish Club at Clovelly Bowling Club, which provides a high-calibre house band to assorted invited stars that have included Charlie Watts and members of the Rolling Stones band sitting in.
While Jonathan appears on literally dozens of cd releases, it was not until 2009 that he released his debut solo album ‘The Sea’ followed by the release of ‘The Remembering and Forgetting of the Air’ in 2013. Both albums have been highly praised and awarded, becoming loved favourites with listeners around the world.
‘The Sea' is one of the most complete visions in Australian creative music. Subtle, inviting and multi-layered.’ John Shand Sydney Morning Herald Nov. 2009
‘Beautiful melodies, understated yet compelling grooves and playing of subtlety and depth, The Sea is that rare thing: an essential jazz album from down under.' Nick Bollinger The Sampler Radio NZ Nov 2009
'A stunningly intimate album. 4 Stars' Daily Telegraph
'4 Stars' The Weekend Australian
‘One of this year's most impressive jazz releases.’ abc radio Feature Album Nov 2009
'Zwartz and the rest of the band produced an evening of music as bewitching as a siren’s call.' Jessica Nichols The Age Nov 2009
‘This is a stunningly beautiful album. Superb.’ Phil Sandford Australian Jazz 2013
Awards: The Sea
Best Jazz Ensemble of the Year – Best Jazz Song of the Year Epic - The Bells (The Australian Jazz Awards 2010)
The Remembering and Forgetting of the Air
Independent Jazz Album of the Year – AIR Independent Music Awards 2013
Final Nominee – Jazz Album of the Year 2013 – ARIA Awards 2013
Best Jazz Albums of 2013 – iTunes
Final Nominee – Best Australian Modern Jazz Album - and - Best Australian Jazz Ensemble - The Bells The Australian Jazz Awards 2014
Finalist – Australian Art Music Awards – ‘Excellence in Jazz’ 2014
jonathan has a masters in music from the australian national university, an associate diploma in jazz studies from the nsw conservatorium of music and a graduate diploma in screen composition from the australian film television and radio school. jonathan has been an apra ambassador since 2010.