Jonathan Hartman, Composer for Film & Television
Jonathan Hartman is a musical polymath, accomplished composer and saxophonist, drawing upon the traditions of film music, jazz, and 20th century minimalism to create compelling scores for film and television. Within a few short years in Hollywood he’s gained a reputation for his absolute commitment to communicating the heart of a story, using music at its most organic level to express the beautiful, the arcane and the profound.
Fluent in multiple musical genres, Jonathan’s music blends traditional instrumentation with cutting edge synthetic programming. His jazz background and improvisational approach inform his sense of timing, melody, and brings an unique warmth and thoughtfulness to his original scores.
Raised in Cleveland, Jonathan was exposed to Jazz at an early age. His grandfather was the head engraver at King Musical Instruments whose clientele included jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, among others. Jonathan took up the alto saxophone and as a young prodigy began performing professionally at age 15. His early influences and mentors included jazz greats Joe Lovano, Clark Terry, and James Moody. As a young musician, Jonathan was also heavily influenced by the postmodern sounds of Stravinsky, Villa Lobos, and minimalists like Steve Reich.
Jonathan actively performed across the Midwest during his school years and moved to New York City during the Jazz resurgence of the mid 1990s, where he performed at every major jazz venue of note over the next decade, including the Jazz Standard, Iridium, Smoke, Smalls, 55 bar, Tonic, the Lenox Lounge, Showmans, the Triad Theater, the Green Mill (Chicago), the Duc de Lombard (Paris) and more. As a young musician in NYC, Jonathan spent a lot of time in the circle of Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz @ Lincoln Center, as well as playing uptown with Hammond B3 Organ groups in Harlem, where he lived for years. Performing around the city, sitting in on jam sessions, touring and teaching meant that Hartman kept irregular hours. During this time he developed a passion for films, often going to the movies five times a week.
A friendship with composer Ira Newborn and passion for film music led Jonathan to the Masters program at New York University, where studied composition and film scoring. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jonathan moved to Los Angeles, where he immediately began working as an assistant for composer John Ottman on studio features that included UNKNOWN, THE LOSERS, and THE RESIDENT.
Taking what he learned from that amazing experience, Jonathan began composing for advertising, shorts, independent films and television, including contributing additional music on the first season of the hit series OUTLANDER with Bear McCreary. In 2017, Jonathan scored DARK/WEB, an eight episode thriller anthology series about the dystopic underbelly of the internet. Jonathan scored SUPERSTITION, a supernatural series starring Mario Van Peebles for the SYFY channel (US). SUPERSTITION airs internationally on NETFLIX April 29th. Jonathan recently composed and recorded original 1920s themed Jazz songs for the upcoming feature film THE CHAPERONE starring Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey). The film will debut later this year.
Some of Jonathan’s collaborations include the feature films THE EMPLOYER starring Malcolm McDowell, FATAL HONEYMOON starring Harvey Keitel, and THIS LAST LONELY PLACE, a neo-noir thriller produced by the Humphrey Bogart Estate released theatrically & VOD in September 2016.
Jonathan has also scored amazing short films for incredible emerging talents, such as Charles Rogers (TBS’s Search Party) on OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER and AUTUMN WHISPERS; Todd Sandler’s STAR WARS THE APPRENTICE , a concept piece for Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm, and Matthew Hermosillo’s festival award winning BEYOND DOUBT, among others.