John has performed classical guitar music publically for 30 years, in both casual and concert settings. In the words of Eugene Register Guard music critic Fred Crafts, “Jarvie is a spectacularly gifted artist who commands the fingers of a virtuoso and the sensitivity of a poet.”
His special gift, however, is the impact he has on his audiences. After John’s concerts, audience members invariably tell him how moved they were by his music. A reviewer wrote that John’s listeners “sat breathlessly” during one concert, and seemed “spellbound” by another performance.
John grew up in a household filled with music. His mother was a violinist, and his father played accordion and classical piano. He began serious study of the guitar as a teenager, studying with Ralph Towner, and later with Michael Lorimer and Scott Kritzer, as well as taking master classes with David Russell, Alice Artst, and Sharon Isben.
He earned his Music degree at the University of Oregon. In 1971 he designed and initiated the Guitar Studies program at the U of O Music School, and taught there for 12 years. He taught concurrently at Lane Community College in Eugene, and continues to teach there.
Beginning in 1971, John has given concerts to enthusiastic audiences in many Northwest venues, most notably performances of the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Eugene Symphony, and a shared program with renowned flautist Paul Horn at the Portland Civic Auditorium.
His concert career was highly successful. However, it was not lucrative enough to provide a stable income for his family, so in 1992, when he was offered a job with security and benefits, he accepted it.
After a number of years, John’s love of music drew him back to serious practice of the guitar. In 2001, John began performing again. Since then, he has performed in the Go For Baroque concert in Eugene, the Instrument Makers’ Exposition in Portland, and numerous private performances. He has given solo concerts in Eugene, Portland and San Diego.
The recent passing of John’s parents, both in their 90's, has inspired him to create a community service project which provides music in retirement homes and care facilities for the elderly. He takes special pleasure in making the beauty of classical guitar music accessible to all listeners.