Born in Marseilles, France, grew up in Davis, California (with a year's side trip to Tucson, AZ.), went to college at UCSC in Santa Cruz, CA, studying with Gordon Mumma and Peter Elsea. In Santa Cruz he hooked up with Camper Van Beethoven, apparently for life. He moved up to San Francisco in 1989, moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to work for Dane Davis at Danetracks, a film sound post production facility, then back to Oakland in 2001, where received a Master's Degree in Music Composition at Mills College, studying with Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and Joelle Leandre.
While in Santa Cruz, he played with Camper Van Beethoven, Eugene Chadbourne and various other semi-musical projects, while in SF with Sideways, Virginia Dare, Granfaloon Bus, Dieselhed and his own bands Hieronymus Firebrain which dissolved and reformed as Jack and Jill, which later led to various records of rock music under his own name. While in Los Angeles, besides doing shows with Eugene Chadbourne, he played with Clyde Wrenn (as Clyde Wrenn and the Container), with Mike Marrt's Beaumont, occaisonal shows with Mark Goodman's group, Magnet, and spent a great deal of time touring the globe with Mark Linkous' group, Sparklehorse.
Upon return to the Bay Area, Jonathan has been playing rock shows with his own eponymous band, as well as a reformed and revitalized Camper Van Beethoven. An all-new Camper Van Beethoven cd, "New Roman Times", came out in the fall of 2004, followed by much touring in the United States and Europe, which continues to this day.
In addition to this, a self-ostracization from Los Angeles and the film and music industries led Jonathan back to the world of improvisation and electronic music, and he has been performing improvised music for instruments and computer around the world for the past few years, including shows in the SF Bay Area, New York, Europe and Japan.
2003 saw the CD release of several improv collaborations with notable artists such as Fred Frith and Joelle Leandre, and with Shoko Hikage, and the first of many electronic music CDs. In 2004, after various shows as both a rock and an improvising duo with Dina Emerson, Chaos Butterfly formed and started recording and touring as well. So far several CDs of their strange brand of electronic/improv music have been produced worldwide, as well as performances in the US and Europe with many collaborators.
He has also been composing music for the Nesting Dolls Dance Company since 1992, and has composed music for Curt Haworth's Dance Company, and Maxine Moerman Dance Theater.
In 2005, the duo of Chaos Butterfly began composing and performing with the Deborah Slater Dance Theater, including the month-long run of the show "Hotel of Memories" in San Francisco in May of 2006, and Jonathan continues to work with the company providing music.
On July 7 2007 the Theatre of Yugenpresented an entire cycle of Noh plays, Jonathan played with Suki O'Kane and Allen Whitman on the music for several of the plays, and composed the music for the center play, "Dark/Silent"
In 2008, after much Camper Van Beethoven touring with Built to Spill, Jonathan released his a very guitar oriented rock cd, "Honey", and continued that journey in 2012 on his latest CD set "All Attractions" which comes with a bonus disc "Apricot Jam".