“ Native Virginian Jon Eric has been delighting audiences with his banjo picking since he was a child. Eastern Iowan audiences have been the lucky recipient of his music for the past six years, since he relocated to Iowa City. His roots are in bluegrass, but his banjo and vocal work to-date includes an infusion of all styles: R&B, funk, rock, pop, folk and progressive bluegrass. “Music for me is always a fantastic learning experience,” says Jon. “After moving to Iowa, I have infused an Iowa Black Dirt ‘organic and gritty’ sound into the clean, solid, bluegrass picking I did while down south, while striving for a liquid mercury-like fluidity in every note I sing or play. It is fun-filled too, cause ya just can’t put a finger on it!””
“Jon Eric moves his fingers across the strings of the banjo as if he's playing the strings of his soul. It's a sound that is true to his talent and dedication as well as his unwavering hard work. He will be the first to tell you that the road to today has been a tough one, but he isn't complaining. He's unendingly grateful to his fans and to the musicians who have taken him under their wings over the past year. For Jon, playing music is not about the money or even about recognition; he just wants to share what he has with anyone and everyone who will listen. I promise that if you listen, you'll be grateful that you did. There is nothing quite like listening to the sound of someone's thoughts, emotions, joys, and pains through the medium of music. We don't all share ourselves so freely, so when someone does, and they do it magically... Well, you won't forget the time you heard Jon Eric play the banjo.”
“Jon Eric is a banjo player, teacher, and philanthropist. What he does is what he loves, and that is to make people happy. “I play to reach the spirits of people. I do have to pay bills to survive, but in the end, things don’t matter. It is the spiritual connection with people that make the difference. If you ask, I will play for you. It’s all about giving back. I will play for you if it will make you smile. Sometimes where words fail, music speaks.””
“Iowa City musician Jon Eric said he believes the banjo can lift spirits. “For even a few minutes, [it] can take people’s minds off the stresses in their life, the oil spill, etc.,” said Eric, who has played everything from Buck to bluegrass on his banjo in Iowa City for six years.”
"Jon carries a certain authenticity when discussing his craft, and it’s hard to miss the genuine enthusiasm that comes across as he plucks the strings, not to mention his regular grins."
“Can you picture a long-haired banjo picker in leather pants jumping off a 5 foot stage while still playing? Maybe not- but the “paddle faster I hear banjo” mentality is a joke of the past… I do think that there is a HUGE market for the up and coming generation to learn from those that come before us. To give reverence to the “traditional” sound of where true Bluegrass started is so very important. And I personally like the professional look that most of the top acts have today- such style. ”
““There is none other that can hold a candle to his style, poise and sweet music. Just listen for yourself and you'll see what I mean. That banjo has a soul all its own!” --Jay Syzdek, President/CEO, Jaymunda, Inc.”
"Jon Eric is a master of the banjo- better than anyone I have ever heard... BLEW it UP- all by himself!"
"Jon Eric looks more like a rock star than a traditional banjo player.The Iowa City resident is trying to break the stereotype that banjos are a thing of the past."
"Not your granddaddys banjo Jon Eric looks more like a rock star than a traditional banjo player. His dark hair rests at his shoulders. He's worn leather pants to concerts. He's even jumped off a few stages..."
“The banjo player (Jon Eric) looked like a young Mick Jagger! I especially enjoyed watching the banjoist, Jon Eric who played his instrument effortlessly and with a big smile on his face throughout the entire show.”