Jon was born in Kennewick, Washington. He began playing the string bass at age 11 and a year later began playing the electric bass as well. Jon’s parents are musical and Jon grew up listening to his father play gospel, boogie woogie and classical music at the piano and his mother play the oboe and sing at church. His parents were a great musical influence to him at an early age.
Jon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Double Bass Performance from Eastern Washington University under the tutelage of Roma Vayspapir and Kelly Ferris. Jon graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media, studying with Jeffrey Campbell, James Vandermark, Harold Danko, Clay Jenkins, Raymond Ricker and Fred Sturm.
In 2001 Hamar relocated to Seattle, Washington, and was in high demand as a freelance bassist. Hamar performed for four years with jazz and blues great Ernestine Anderson as well as Northwest notables Greta Matassa, Jim Knapp, Randy Halberstadt, Dawn Clement, Kelley Johnson and John Hansen. Jon also performed regularly in an orchestral setting recording on movie soundtracks, and playing recitals and concerts around the Northwest.
In 2012 Jon joined the faculty at the Centrum Jazz Workshop under the Artistic Direction of John Clayton. While living in Seattle Jon taught at Central Washington University, Northwest University and Edmonds Community College as well as maintaining a private studio. In Fall of 2015 Hamar joined the faculty of Natalie Haslam School of Music at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN.
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