John has performed classical guitar music publicly for 30 years, in both casual and concert settings. In the words of 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.
In the 1990’s he set aside his concert career to pursue another line of work which provided a more secure income for his family. However, after a number of years, John’s love of music drew him back to performing again.
Since then, he has given solo concerts in Eugene, Portland, and Florence, (Oregon), and San Diego as well as numerous private performances. Recently John collaborated with the Ballet Fantastique of Eugene. He appeared with the ballet in Eugene's Hult Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Green Show in Ashland.
John is also a guitar builder. He began experimenting with guitar design in the 1970’s, with the goal of achieving better resonance and projection. Since 2001 he has focused more seriously on guitar making. He refined his unique design and he now produces guitars with great volume and richness. John plays his own guitars in concert; he made the guitar he played for all his YouTube videos. He builds instruments for other guitarists, as well.