Jonathan Henderson is a North Carolina-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer, producer, and educator. A PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at Duke University, Jonathan remains active as an artist and performer. Most recently, Jonathan produced the album “Routes” for his band Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba. The album was recorded both in Senegal and North Carolina and garnered critical acclaim from Songlines, Afropop Worldwide, The Financial Times, and Robert Christgau for Vice, among others. Jonathan’s academic research concerns how local musical traditions are transformed through recording studio practice and come to articulate new meaning through their international circulation. Jonathan has written music for film and theater, including several summers runs with The Paperhand Puppet Intervention. He plays bass with Onyx Club Boys, and is a founding member of and contributor to varied projects including art/ performance collective INVISIBLE, the protest marching band Cakalak Thunder, folk band Midtown Dickens, and the samba reggae bands Batalá Durham and Oxente. Jonathan has over a decade’s worth of music teaching experience at the secondary and post-secondary level. He holds an MA in Music from Duke University and a BA in Anthropology with a concentration in Music from Guilford College.


Film Credits:

Waiting for Q, 2020. Sound design and mix for 20-minute documentary short film.

Haw River Learning Celebration, 2020. Composed and recorded original score for six-part educational video.

Peace In Our Pockets, The Groove Productions, 2014. Composed and recorded original score.

NRP’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Advertising Short, 2014. Composed cue for promo video.

Café Sense, Vittles Films, 2012. Composed and recorded original score.

The New Obsolete, American New Wave, 2012. Composer.

Theater and Installation Work:

Landscapes, 2020. Captured field recordings at Grand Staircase Escalante (Utah) for 5.1 surround mix of environmental sound score to accompany installation focused on the opening of this US national park to oil and gas extraction. In collaboration with Merrill Shatzman and Raquel Salvatella de Prada.

Dust of the Zulu, Rubenstein Arts Center Project Residency at Duke University, 2019.

Composed score and designed sound for installation based on Prof. Louise Meintjes’

award-winning ethnography, Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics After Apartheid (Duke Press

2017). Created collaborative exhibit with Prof. Meintjes, photographer TJ Lemon, and others.

Cornered, Duke University collaboration with Raquel Salvatella de Prada. Composition and Sound Design. September, 2018.

The Painted Bird, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, 2014. Lead Composer and Music Director for 80-minute score. Directed 7-piece band. Performed 22 shows, seen by 10,000+ people.

The Serpent’s Egg, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, 2012. Composer and band member.

City of Frogs, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, 2011. Composer and band member.

Big Tent Cabaret Road Show, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, 2011. Composer and band member.

Islands Unknown, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, 2010. Composer and band member.

Love and Robots, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, 2009-2010. Composer and band member.

Recording Credits:

Diassing Jalikinda, Youssoupha Cissokho, 2020. Producer, Engineer.

Routes, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, 2018. Producer, Arranger; bass, percussion.

Music from Of Wings and Feet. 2017. Producer, Engineer, composer, bass, piano, percussion.

The Great Peace, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, 2014. Arranger and Co-Producer; bass, percussion.

Music from the Painted Bird, 2014, Composer, Arranger, Producer; bass, piano, percussion, guitar.

PARO, Brice Randall Bickford, 2013. Bass, percussion.

Solar Rapé, Carlos Timon, 2012. Bass, percussion.

Misery Makes Odd Bedfellows, Jared Bartman. 2012. Bass.

Resonance, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, 2012. Arranger, Co-Producer; bass, percussion, keyboards.

Home, Midtown Dickens, 2012. Co-Arranger, Co-Producer; bass, percussion, piano, guitar.

Lanterns, Midtown Dickens, 2009. Co-Arranger, Co-Producer; bass, percussion, piano, guitar.

Rhythm 1001: Live at the Ackland, Invisible, 2009. Composer, Performer.

Irresponsibly Electric, Invisible, 2009. Composer; bass, percussion, keyboards.

Selected Performance Credits:
Paperhand Puppet Intervention Composer and Band Member for six season. Compose, arrange, direct and perform live score for popular outdoor theater performance. Each season’s production (22 shows) features a custom-composed score for 6-10 multi-instrumentalists and vocalist(s). UNC-CH Forest Theater and NC Museum of Art Amphitheater.

The New Obsolete, with Invisible. Co-Composer of 70-minute performance piece for typewriter-controlled piano, and electromechanical drums triggered by dripping water. Performances include: Moogfest, Asheville NC (2012); 1708 Gallery, Richmond VA (2012); Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro NC (2012); Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh NC (2012); North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC (2012); UNC-G New Music Festival, Greensboro NC (2011); Reynolda House, Winston-Salem NC (2011).

Time Constraints, collaboration with Mark Dixon. Co-Composer of 50-minute composition for electromechanical drum machine and percussion triggered by dripping water. Performances include: Duke University Nelson Music Room, Durham NC (2014); UNC-A Ecomusicology Conference, Asheville NC (2014); Telfair Museum, Savannah GA (2014).

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba. Bassist (upright, electric, Bass VI), Percussionist, Producer and Arranger in West African Dance Band. Albums favorably reviewed by Afropop Worldwide, Songlines, Robert Christgau for Noisy. Band nominated for Best African Band, Afrima (2014). 150 + performances (2011 – present) including: Eastern Music Festival Fringe Series, Greensboro NC; World Music Lecture Series, NC State University, Raleigh NC; Appalachian State Univeristy Cultural Fest, Boone NC; Duke Performances; Guilford College, Greensboro NC; UNC Center for the Study of the American South, Chapel Hill NC; Tedx UNC at Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill NC; Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia SC; The Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill NC; Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh NC; Joe’s Public, New York NY. Additional performances in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and other Southeast and Midwest US cities, as well as in M’bour, Senegal (December 2011).n Music Room, Durham NC (2014); UNC-A Ecomusicology Conference, Asheville NC (2014); Telfair Museum, Savannah GA (2014).

Cakalak Thunder. Co-Founder, Arranger, Percussionist for political marching band. Wrote and directed percussion arrangements for Samba Batucada ensemble. Performed in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Detroit, Miami, Atlanta, and other cities and communities in the Eastern US (2004 – 2010).

International Collaborations/ Studies:
Performance of Kaju Fenny by I Wayan Sudirana, Ph.D., in Ubud, Bali, at the request of Chok Wa, member of Ubud’s royal family and local patron of Balinese performing arts (Bali 2014).

Performances and studies in M’bour, Senegal, with Diali Keba Cissokho’s family of griot musicians. Focus on balafon performance (December 2011).

Studies in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, with Jorge Alabe. Focus on Brazilian percussion techniques and ensemble percussion performance. Rehearsed and marched in Rio Carnival with samba bateria and attended bateria rehearsals in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil (February-March 2009).