Entertainer  .     Musical Director   .   Composer & Writer


Musical DirectorMusical_Director.html
Composer & WriterComposer_%26_Writer/Composer_%26_Writer.html

    JON BARKER is a unique talent.

Born into a musical family, he studied the piano and violin classically from an early age. Between playing Bach and Beethoven, (much to his piano teacher’s horror) Jon played boogie-woogie and the blues.

At the age of 11 he won the Cheltenham Festival piano competition and during his early teenage years led the Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra, won the County Public Speaking Competition, sang solos in choirs, played the lead in his school plays and started to write songs.

Then, at the age of just 17, Jon left his Cotswold home to follow his dream of performing in the professional theatre. He soon established himself as an impressive talent and was in great demand, working season after season honing his craft and delighting theatre audiences with his musicianship and stage charisma.

Returning to education, Jon studied piano and arranging for 3 years at Leeds College of Music where he gained a 1st class graduate diploma. During this time, he broadened his musical skills and knowledge by playing in jazz, rock, funk and soul bands, as well as being the resident topical singer/songwriter on BBC Radio Leeds for 2 years.

Nearing the end of the course, Jon decided he wanted to learn more about the ‘legitimate’ side of theatre. Jon chose Arts Educational Schools Post Graduate course where he intensively studied all aspects of acting and drama.

At the age of 23 he became the resident entertainer at the Yacht Club Piano Bar on board the QE2. He mesmerised British and American audiences with his encyclopaedic knowledge of songs, sharp wit, superb musicianship and off the cuff topical songs.

On a World Cruise in 1989 Jon wrote the music, lyrics and book for a musical about, a subject that had always fascinated him, Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man.

Jon thrived in the atmosphere of the QE2 where he rubbed shoulders with the global stars of the entertainment world, again, learning from the very best. There he met Leonard Bernstein, Victor Borge, Michael Crawford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Vic Damone, David Zipple and Freddy Roman, and played the piano for Neil Sedaka, George Hearn, Loretta Swit, Juliet Prowse, as well as rubbing shoulders with Royalty, global leaders and heads of state.

By the age of 30, Jon was writing for TV and radio, his songs were played in the Royal London Festival Hall and he had established himself as a headline artist. He settled in Weybridge, Surrey with his partner, started a company and wrote and produced exciting and innovative shows for 5 and 6 star cruise liners.

At this time the producer Stephen F. McKernan heard Jon’s musical and wanted to work with him.

Stephen was from the prestigious Lehman Engle writing background and passed on his knowledge to help Jon focus and fine tune his lyric and music writing skills. Together they set about re-working Jon’s idea and crafting it into a major musical work. After several re-writes and 2 workshops in London, Stephen’s company acquired the rights to the show. 

Jon and his partner saw in New Year 1999 in Paris. Tragically, it was to be the last they spent together as in the following March, his beloved lady died suddenly from a rare heart condition.

Jon was devastated and slowly started the long process of rebuilding his life.

Today Jon is happily married to former dancer Lisa, his wonderful wife, and they have three beautiful children, Oliver, Beatrice Lillie & William.

His song, ‘Thank you for being my dad’ has been in the charts in 50 countries including USA.

The musical of The Elephant Man is being made into a major feature film in the States, to be followed by a first class Broadway stage production. He is working on a new show with a UK producer about the life of his friend & colleague,the late Peter Gordeno.

Jon’s talents are much in demand as a headline cabaret artist  and also as a production show & event creative for many top companies including CarnivalUK.