As a drummer, educator, record label owner, graphic designer, publisher, and festival presenter, John Bishop has been one of the primary voices in Northwest Jazz for over 30 years. He has performed in concerts and clubs with Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, George Cables, Kenny Werner, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Julian Priester, Herb Ellis, Buddy DeFranco, Pete Christlieb, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Kenny Rankin, and countless others. He’s appeared on more than 100 albums, and was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2008.
Bishop has recorded five albums and toured internationally with New York pianist Hal Galper’s Trio over the past 10 years. Other ongoing projects include: Scenes, a 15 year-old trio with guitarist John Stowell & bassist Jeff Johnson, and the Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters Group, a Belgian/American project.
“Bishop’s drumming is unfailingly imaginative and fervid.” – CODA Magazine
For 20 years, he was a member of the piano trio New Stories along with pianist Marc Seales and bassist Doug Miller. They had 4 CDs of their own, 6 with the late be-bop saxophonist Don Lanphere, and a Grammy-nominated RCA recording with Mark Murphy. They were a house trio for 17 years at Bud Shank’s Pt. Townsend Jazz Festival, headlined the 1993 JVC Jazz Festival in Vladivostok, Russia, appeared in concert with Tom Harrell, Sonny Fortune, Charles McPherson, Vincent Herring, Nick Brignola, Conte Condoli, Bobby Shew & Larry Coryell, and regularly appeared around the country by themselves or touring with Mark Murphy or Ernie Watts.
“The New Stories trio is likewise nothing less than extraordinary. Drummer John Bishop, particularly, is one of the finest on the scene.” – Jazz Review
He’s taught drums privately for close to 40 years and was on the faculty at the University of Washington from 2005-2009. He regularly does drum and jazz workshops throughout the country, including recent events at the University of North Texas, University of Indiana, Dartmouth, The New School, Purchase Conservatory-NYC, University of Louisville, San Jose State University, The Jazz School-Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, among others.
In 1997, Bishop started Origin Records (named Jazzweek’s 2009 “Label Of The Year”) and OriginArts, a graphic design & CD production company, to help further the exposure of creative artists and their music. In partnership with his ex-drum student, Matt Jorgensen, they have released over 500 recordings by 300 artists from around the world. In 2002 they added another jazz label, OA2 Records, a classical imprint, Origin Classical in 2008, and in 2003 began Seattle’s annual Ballard Jazz Festival. Bishop has designed 550 CD packages and multiple book covers, banners, posters, and other graphics for clients around the globe.