Originally from the Boston area, Jon Arkin began his studies of music and percussion at an early age. His experiences playing in local groups led him to the University of Miami School of Music, where he studied drum set performance and composition, and won several awards for his participation in the school's top jazz combos. After earning his degree in 1998, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to leading his own groups, he has been busy as an in-demand freelance musician with many notable local, national and international artists. Spanning three decades, his list of recording credits includes dozens of albums and guest appearances in a wide variety of genres, as he maintains an active recording schedule as a studio musician. He has also established himself as a noted educator, teaching unique classes, workshops, clinics and lessons to students in the Bay Area and elsewhere, and is a frequent faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Jazzschool in Berkeley.
His drumming style has been sought out as much for his versatility as for his uniqueness. A believer in the power of listening, grooving, dynamic balance, and attunement, his collaborators attest to his ability to suit the music of the moment.
His recent work has incorporated electronics into his music, using laptop-based processing to augment acoustic percussion sounds. Extensive use of these effects can be heard in the Schimscheimer Family Trio (longtime collaboration with Kasey Knudsen and Michael Coleman), as well as in a solo electro/acoustic context.