" My interest in the Pacific Electric Railway began in 1967, when I was given a tour of the remains of the Subway Terminal Building under downtown Los Angeles. I am concerned about the environment, and part of the solution to healthy air is to expand rail service between and inside cities. I was recently elected Chair of the Transportation Committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council. I’ve always been a little torn between music and politics. My music mirrors some of my ideals and values. Even though there are no lyrics on these songs, I hope one can easily tell that a pragmatic optimist wrote them. The Pacific Electric Railway was removed under questionable circumstances, and a large measure of American history remains untold and off-limits. On more than one occasion, I would be sitting down attempting to mix something, and thoughts of energy policy, or streetcars and ad campaigns would creep into the room. One must stay focused," explains Hartmann.
Pacific Electric features Hartmann’s multi-hyphenate title of Writer, Producer, Record label executive as well as keyboards and percussion. The album also features Sid Jacobs on guitar (first North American jazz guitarist invited to perform in Argentina's "Guitars of the World" festival), Dave Price on saxophone, Larry Williams on trumpet, Lynn Woolever on bass, Jack Lees on drums and percussion and other guitar contributions from Tony Pretzello and Ron Hershewe. Each of the individual songs on the album reflect Hartmann’s impressions of the rhythm of the rails, solid grooves of each track take you on a funk/be-bop sound voyage.
Hartmann’s last two albums, "3 if By Air" and "The 10th House" both featured CD cover graphics which reflect Hartmann’s passionate visual statement about the fragile nature of the orb we populate. He feels fossil fuels have no place in our future. "If we continue to burn them at the current rate, two things will happen as sure as night follows day.....our economy will be disrupted beyond repair, and our planet, likewise, may be damaged sufficiently to induce global catastrophe," states Hartmann.
Hartmann is a songwriter, musician, producer, music publisher and record label executive whose career has encompassed touring the world. From his first overseas gig in Southeast Asia to entertain soldiers for the USO, to performing with Ike & Tina Turner in Germany with the Rolling Stones as audience spectators to co-writing with Jimmy Whitney, King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s 1975 hit "Goodness Knows." He’s currently producing his own works and others elaborating on his environmental beliefs as an activist and musical artist on his own independent label, Jon Hartmann Records.
JON HARTMANN BIOGRAPHY
Songwriter. Musician. Producer.
Music Publisher. Recording Label Executive.
In his near four decades of a well-orchestrated musical career path, Jon Hartmann has hit every note on an impressive scale of success with many noteworthy accomplishments. He started writing music at the piano at the tender age of eight, played the saxophone and clarinet through high school and college, then graduated from UCLA, with a B.A. in Music Composition. Music education was the foundation for what would become multi-talented Jon Hartmann’s diversified musical life.
He’s toured the world from his first overseas gig in Southeast Asia to entertain soldiers for the USO, to performing with Ike & Tina Turner in Germany with the Rolling Stones as audience spectators his talents have been recognized all over the globe. A member of both, American Federation of Musicians and ASCAP, Hartmann has an extraordinary working biography which reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of stage performers within the music industry. In 1975, he wrote a song with Jimmy Whitney called "Goodness Knows" which was recorded by the now-King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Hartmann has also worked with Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Staple Singers, Jaye P. Morgan, Oscar Brown Jr., Eartha Kitt, The Ink Spots, The Platters, Steve Lawrence, Morey Amsterdam, and Ann B. Davis. He’s shared the marquee with Jackson Browne, B.B. King, Billy Eckstein and Johnny Nash. Hartmann has done it all! He’s been part of the stable of keyboard players called by H.B. Barnum for touring and recording. Hartmann additionally has also performed in numerous concerts and casuals and has even recorded jingles, published demos and tuned pianos. His love for music is never-ending.
In 1978, he stopped touring and started concentrating on writing music. He went on to learn about synthesizers and performed in the Los Angeles area. With this exposure, he soon became known in other musicians circles including Barry Zweig, Sal Marquez, Phil Chen (bass player for Rod Stewart), Cathy Segal-Garcia, and John Brahaeny, who hired him to play keyboards on his songwriter's demos.
From there his desire to learn grew from being a sideman and accompanist, to starting his own band and a second career as a recording engineer, mixing his own albums.
Just releasing his third self-produced album, "Pacific Electric" is a project which brings him full-circle in a self-described ‘coming of age’ tour. Dedicated to the memory of the Pacific Electric Railway, this CD is representative of his own musical styling maturation, exploration and revelation as well as his own passion about the environment. Hartmann describes this album to be"organic" stating it’s the solos that get complex, whereas the melodies are often relatively simple. Pacific Electric is a group of tunes that reflect the old-school be-bop sensibility, and yet have a feeling of complete freshness and vitality. Modern Jazz, old school funk are intertwined in all original compositions with an Afro-Cuban groove an eclectic mix of all musical inspirations.
His CD, "3 If By Air" is a modern rhythmic instrumental jazz fusion release. Flavored with many up-tempo tunes, it captivates and creates a mental vacation getaway in a true ‘CD for all-seasons.’ His release "The 10th House," takes the self-realization process to the next level! These songs transport listeners to a new realm of jazz fusion with a Latin funk/rock-edge. "The 10th House" brings life harmony in music to a spiritual place found within our own internal rhythm of melodic peace.
Hartmann is a husband, father of three, recently elected Chair of the Transportation Committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, an activist on ARCO’s "Citizens Advisory Committee for Rapid Transit," and resides in Los Angeles. He is currently producing his own works and others on his own independent label, Jon Hartmann Records. His deep passion for the environment is highlighted in all his works, but his latest release, "Pacific Electric" focuses on his mindful and heart-driven dedication toward bringing awareness about the planet to the forefront of human consciousness.