Jon - Then & Now

Jon, Gorham, ME, 2005

Jon grew up in New York during the 1950s and 60s. He moved to Maine for college and eventually decided to call it home. Taking a break from playing guitar at a rehearsal one day, Jon picked up a friend’s viola and was intrigued. He went out the next day and bought a fiddle. Jon taught himself to play by ear, and became an accomplished fiddler, winning competitions throughout Maine and New Hampshire.

Jon’s curiosity led him to investigate creating instruments, which he pursued in Cremona, Italy with luthier Gregg Alf for three years. Twenty five years later he continues to develop his craft, carving in his shop overlooking Presumpscot Pond.

Jon in 1986

Jon has now made over 400 instruments. He has a variety of models for violins, violas and cellos, an extensive tone wood selection and attractive varnishing techniques. Jon has mastered the perfect blend of tradition and today by applying his knowledge of sound production with the needs of modern players. His instruments are very popular among professional musicians in every setting; orchestral performers, fiddlers, chamber musicians, and educators.



I’ve been playing a Jonathan Cooper Signature Model violin for six years now, and it continues to amaze me every time I pick it up. It’s perfect for both acoustic and amplified performances as well as studio recordings. The violin has great balance: a powerful, warm low end along with clarity and brightness, a combination that is rarely found. I highly recommend Jonathan Cooper’s instruments to anyone and everyone.

Alex Hargreaves
Berklee Global Jazz Institute
Mike Marshall’s Big Trio