Jon's latest work the Jon Blondell Quintet.. Check out their videos featuring bandmates Dr. Jim Rose, trumpet, Victoria Uslenghi, vocals and flute, Yuka Kameda, tap dancer, John Fremgen, upright bass and David Sierra, drums. You can catch them every month on the Elephant Room.
Whether he’s exhibiting his talents on trombone or electric bass (or any other instrument for that matter) audiences and musician peers are unanimous in their conclusion – “That guy is a monster!”
Jon was born in a rural community in Iowa and his childhood was a series of hometowns from the Midwest, to California, to the Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley. After high school in Harlingen, Texas, Jon passed up a full scholarship to MIT, in order to pursue the priesthood at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He had to have an undergraduate degree first and was unsure of what to do about it until one day his life took a turn while at a shopping mall. “About 4:30p one afternoon I heard "All the Things You Are" - played by SuperSax, a Charlie Parker Tribute band - coming from the record store. This really did something to me. It really flipped a switch. The owner later gave me a promo record of trombonist Bill Watrous.”
Over the next several months that record store owner gave him several more promo copies all which Jon took home and, having the background of marching band since he was 12, learned all the parts of those songs on trombone. Within 6 months Jon’s path changed drastically. He continued on to St. Mary's on a music scholarship. Later became a low brass instructor, then bass teacher and jazz program director.
Blondell ventured on after St. Mary’s and came to the live music world that is Austin, Texas. Having learned to play electric bass somewhere along the way he became the house bass player at Antone’s Night Club where he played with Buddy Guy, Jimmy Page, U2, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Vaughn, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kim Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, LouAnn Barton, Marcia Ball, Charlie Sexton and all the Austin Blues family.
At the same time he was breaking into the jazz scene and playing with local jazz artists as well as greats like Chet Baker, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Joe Henderson, Carl Fontana, and Bill Watrous and others.
He later crossed over into the country and rock n roll world and has had the honor of working with Willie Nelson, George Strait, Delbert McClinton, Ray Price, Asleep at the Wheel and Dale Watson.
His recording discography is equally diversified and includes not only sideman credits on many jazz, blues and country records plus scores of radio and television commercials, but perhaps the best known and most influential trombone solo in rock music since the early 70’s - the multi-platinum hit “The Wrong Way” by Sublime.