Jonathan Withem

Drummer • Percussionist • Instructor


JW Headshot

Jonathan Withem is a California native and drummer. He has been drumming for more than two decades and playing professionally for over 10 years. Born January 25, 1989, Jonathan was raised in a very musical family. Both his Father and Grandfather were violinists with extensive professional careers. They shared a contagious passion for music and left a powerful legacy.

By age nine, Jonathan was playing in youth orchestras and eventually joined a jazz band that performed at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The group also performed at Disneyland and California Adventure. At 17, Jonathan was studying with Jason Lingle and performing throughout Northern California. He played regularly with jazz bands and a jazz combo TNT who was a featured group at Sacramento’s Dante Club and the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.

Senior RecitalJonathan earned his BA in Music from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly he studied with Ross Sears – a product of Forrest Clark, William Kraft, George Gaber, and Anthony Cirone. Jonathan performed with Cal Poly’s Mustang Marching Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble, Choirs, and even accompanied various chamber groups.

Jonathan is both an accomplished player and clinician – performing throughout the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, South Korea, Puerto Rico, and India as a featured soloist and with various musical groups. Jonathan has appeared with Taylor Eigsti, Don Byron, Red Holloway, Charlie Shoemake, Bill Watrous, DJ Logic, Lincoln Brewster, Zoro the Drummer, American Idol’s Chris Sligh, Chris McClarney, Jason Ingram, Justin Unger, and Kevin Toqe.

Apart from his growing discography as a session drummer and percussionist, Jonathan is teaching over 70 drummers/percussionists per week through The Drum Lab and William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA, Music Lab in Sacramento, CA, and Jesuit High School in Carmichael, CA. In 2012 Jonathan started his own company, J Withem Percussion Design, and was granted U.S. Patent Pending on Footshake – a shaker designed to be worn on percussionists’ feet.


Jonathan is currently playing with Kevin Toqe, PCPA Theatrefest, Justin Unger, and is a substitute instructor for Mike Johnston’s