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 has two degrees to show for his years of study. 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.
Since moving to Seattle in 2001 Hamar has been active in the role of supporting bassist. Hamar performed for four years with jazz and blues great Ernestine Anderson and is currently a regular with Northwest notables such as Greta Matassa, Jim Knapp, Randy Halberstadt and Dawn Clement. Jon also performs regularly in an orchestral setting recording on movie soundtracks, and playing recitals and concerts around the Northwest.
As an educator Jon keeps busy teaching at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington and Edmonds Community College in Edmonds, Washington as well as maintaining an active private studio. Jon currently has former students attending Berklee College of Music, The New School and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2012 Jon joined the faculty at the Centrum Jazz Workshop under the direction of Artistic Director John Clayton.
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