21 year old Jonathan Asperil, a Los-Angeles based musician, began playing the guitar when he was 11 years. At the age of 15 he auditioned for a teen national talent contest, and won in the category of best guitar player. A year later, he was the winner of another national guitar contest which was produced and judged by guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa. Thereafter Jonathan attended Berklee College of Music, receiving the prestigious Presidential Scholarship.
Jonathan has performed, recorded, and/or musical directed artists like Sheila E, Valerie Simpson (Ashford&Simpson), Paula Cole, Ledisi, Cody Simpson, Oleta Adams, Jaguar Wright, Wax, Gabrielle Goodman, Terri Lyne Carrington, Gerald Clayton, Hadrien Feraud, Tia Fuller, Tess Henley, Walter Beasley, Yoron Israel, Charles Neville (The Neville Brothers), Donna McEloroy and many more.
Throughout this time Jonathan Asperil has been populating YouTube, and various other video channels with a series of visuals wherein he executes a set of guitar solos across a variety of music styles – aptly titled “No Boundaries – Impossible Guitar Covers”. You will find Jonathan performing the Lee Morgan solo from the legendary John Coltrane recording of “Moment’s Notice”, on acoustic guitar. More often than not, you will find him covering Cory Henry’s (Snarky Puppy) incredible work, on guitar! And just to prove that nothing is impossible, we caught up with Jonathan replicating trumpeter Clark Terry’s solo from “Brotherhood of Man”.
It obviously doesn’t stop there as Jonathan Asperil displays his guitar virtuosity, covering everyone from John Scofield and Pat Metheny to Wes Montgomery. If he is not using an acoustic guitar, Jonathan places his artistic trust in a Fender “Eric Clapton” Stratocaster, which already shows the courageous ‘mark of the man’. Usually guitarists, who more than dabble in jazzy to pop sounds, go for a guitar brand, known for softer, warmer sounds, instead of the Fender’s ‘harder’ and ‘edgier’ tones. The fact that he completes the combination with Ernie Ball strings, confirms that Jonathan has absolutely no fear of working with sharp, bright and clean sounds. On the contrary he thoroughly revels in them!
“No Boundaries – Impossible Guitar Covers”, indeed contains fearless pieces of work, in which Jonathan transposes diverse instrumental solos into purely guitar expressions. This is definitely a collection of interpretations that will require repeated listening to fully grasp the enormity of their accomplishment. For those willing to dive in and give it their full attention, Jonathan Asperil’s playing is an enormously rewarding experience that ranks up there with the best there is. Jonathan breaks away from each song’s original signature sound to forge a new one, that bends genres, incorporates disparate elements and meshes it all seamlessly, into something all his own. Along the way his artistic prowess never loses sight of the piece’s original intent which he respects and keeps intact.
The virtuosity abounds. There is much subtlety here as well, and Jonathan’s extraordinary technique and method of providing varying textures and tones. At the same time the solos are fueled with plenty emotion as Jonathan’s passages, over and above being inventive, makes use of contrast, tension and release. Through his videos, Asperil manages to offer the listener (and watcher) a detailed tour through his musical terrains while showing new and different, sights and sounds. Witness his edgy guitar tones and how he locks horns with just about any type of solo.
It is often stated that Jazz and Fusion is a dynamic and living music that reflects the present state of an artist’s life. If innovation is the true tradition of these genres, then Jonathan Asperil succeeds in painting a very colorful tapestry of his life through the six-stringed instrument – and I give him full stars for presenting it in such a bold and unique way. This music and Jonathan’s playing is technically brilliant, emotional, and full of artistic genius. If this is Jonathan Asperil at 21 years old, what will he be like ten years down the line!