Jonathon Muir-Cotton


My name is Jonathon S. Muir-Cotton and I am a bassist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I am 20 years old and a student at Wayne State University pursuing my Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts.

In my pursuit of both Jazz and classical training on the double bass, I have had the privilege of being a student and mentee of Ms. Marion Hayden, Mr. Derek Weller, Prof. Rodney Whitaker, Prof. Robert Hurst and Mr. Ralphe Armstrong.  In addition, I am thankful for instruction, wisdom and mentorship from Mr. Sean Dobbins, Prof. Vincent Chandler, Prof. Kris Johnson, Mr. Rayse Biggs, Mr. George Davidson, Prof. Chris Collins and the late Mr. Marcus Belgrave.

The double bass is my 4th instrument of study, as I have previously played the cello, piano and drums. The drums were my first instrument and really where the music all started – I love to get on the drums whenever I can!

I am an alumnus of the Ann Arbor Skyline Symphony Orchestra, the University of Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Jazz Orchestra and the Southeastern Music Academy Louis Smith Jazz Orchestra.  I have been blessed to participate in some wonderful music instructional programs that have been instrumental in my development as a musician including the Sphinx Preparatory Institute, IN-Accord’s Kid’s and Jazz Workshop at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, the Children’s Music Academy at the Ann Arbor School of the Performing Arts, Washtenaw Community College’s Kids on Campus Jazz Camp, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Interlochen Summer Arts Camp Music Program, the J. C. Heard Jazz @ Wayne Week, the University of Michigan MPulse Jazz Institute and the Michigan State University Big Band Symposium.

My inspiration for learning to play the bass came from Mr. Carlos Henriquez of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.  My mom took me to see Mr. Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan in 2006. Mr. Henriquez had this awesome bass solo.  I was hooked, and told my mom, who at that time was encouraging me to return to my piano studies or pursue the saxophone, that the bass was absolutely the instrument for me.  So I looked into how I could possibly study the bass.  During my 5th grade year I began studying the cello, and asked my music teacher at Allen Elementary School, Ms. Kim Coulson-Mobley if I convinced my mom to get me a bass would she allow me to switch from the cello to bass in the middle of the school year.  Ms. Coulson-Mobley supported me, my mom got me a bass, Mr. Barton Dunning agreed to take me on as a student, and the rest has been history!

One of my mentors, Mr. Rick Robinson formerly of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, classically inspired me.  He provided encouragement and wisdom as I worked to develop as a musician in the early years.  He always said that hard work would get me where I want to go.  So I continue to work hard and take risks musically and my risk taking has been fruitful.  I continue to enter competitions, and have earned Superior ratings in the MSBOA District Solo and Ensemble District Festivals, an Excellent rating in the MSBOA State Solo and Ensemble Festival in 2012, an honorable mention for the MSBOA All State Orchestra in 2010, the IN-Accord Donald Mayberry Music Scholarship Award, an Outstanding Bassist Award at the Essentially Ellington Competition at Michigan State University in 2014, and was the winner of the Sigma Rho Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Talent Hunt in both 2012 and 2015, competing in the Annual District Competitions in Indiana and Wisconsin.

Music is a passion and a gift that I have been blessed with and appreciate daily.  I am also thankful for a supportive mom, aunt and church family, and hope to continue to play and make wonderful music with my friends Kameron and Donovan Johnson, as well as others, for a long time.


About Me