Jon did an amazing project for me. I needed a song to “sound like” another song but with no copyright issues. This was for a high-end corporate client. He created a new song that sounded just enough like the “real” song, got me a great singer, did the instrumentation and directed the recording session for the singer. He did the final mix and it came out so great! Jon can do anything in the world of music! He is a rock star!
Suite 100 Video & Communications, Ltd.
Jon doubles on woodwinds so well I’m not sure what his “main” instrument is.
Jon is my “first call” player if I ever have a Recorder project that needs to be done. Plays musically and IN TUNE!! We asked Jon to do things like transpose Viola music and play it on Clarinet. He did it in the first take. Jon is extremely creative. He can come up with horn parts “on the spot” then harmonize with himself on the next takes. Jon is always professional, personable and on time.
Hal Leonard Corporation
What would I do without Jon Negus? He’s a one-man musical army! Not only can he play every instrument that he touches (flute, clarinet, any saxophone, piano, keyboard, percussion, and did I mention any recorder!?), but he is also the kindest and most efficient collaborator you will find. Jon’s musicianship is world class; I seek out opportunities to work with him.
Musical Director at large in the Chicagoland area and
Artistic Director of Chicago Artists Chorale
Jon Negus has worked for me as a woodwind doubler (saxes, flutes, clarinet) for the Broadway musicals “Hairspray” and “West Side Story” at the Paramount Theatre (in Aurora, IL), and also has played sax for me with the “Rat Pack” and “The Temptations”. Jon is an amazing musician with a high energy, dedicated vibe. He comes to the job well-rehearsed and ready to add all he’s got to every single performance. He’s always a treat both to listen to and to work with.
As a Vocalist and Instrumentalist who worked in the Studios of Chicago for 25 years singing and playing on various Commercial Jingles, I worked with Jon Negus for the last few years of my wonderful time there. I found him to be very musical and with good taste in musical styles. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone interested in Good Quality Musical Productions.
Tenor Vocalist in The Hi-Los and the Singers Unlimited, Woodwind Specialist
In the vast world of music producers and musicians that I have been blessed to work with, Jon Negus is at the top of my list of extremely talented and wonderful people. Jon is a great composer and arranger in every style of music (orchestral, jazz, rock, country, on and on…), a world-class vocalist, and a fantastic multi-instrumentalist with fabulous chops and choices on everything he plays. Best of all, though, is his vibe and knowledge as a producer. Jon always comes in with a vision based on serving the music and the client, but he is also always open to input from the people he is producing. Sometimes he has every note beautifully written out, and other times he’ll turn the band loose, and then rein us in as necessary to get the best results. From big jingle sessions to kid’s music albums to song demos to live work, Jon is always a blast to be around. I always leave feeling better, stronger, smarter, and happier than when I arrived. I’m proud to know him, and you will be, too!
One of Chicago’s GREATEST guitar players/Producer/Vocalist
It has been my pleasure to work with the multi-talented, Jon Negus, for many years. He brings a high level of professionalism and musicality to everything he’s a part of—whether as an instrumentalist, singer, writer, arranger, or producer. A wonderfully talented man!
I’ve been working with Jon Negus for over 30 years and he puts the pro in professional. We actually played together in Steve Dahl’s band (Famous Chicago DJ) , who puts the fun in dysfunctional. All kidding aside, Jon gets the job done, writing the coolest charts played by the coolest cats on the planet. He’s one of the reasons I miss “Sweet Home Chicago”.
Tour/Production Manager to the Stars
Jon Negus is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist who has a deep understanding of music from performance to composition. Over the years in my capacity as owner of Steve Ford Music, I have had the good fortune to have worked with Jon in many roles: as a fine flute or clarinet player, an accomplished vocalist, and as an amazing composer/arranger sequencer. His understanding of music is deep. He knows genres and styles. He understands the concepts behind which the music is being applied. His approach to music combines the top professional standards of a studio performer with the acumen of a composer and the understanding of a producer. He is, in short, the consummate professional musician in whatever capacity he is working.
Steve Ford Music
It’s so difficult to know where to begin in talking about Jon, since he’s a multiple genius when it comes to musical talent. First of all, he’s a wonderful composer with great knowledge of commercial music of all kinds. He wrote a wonderful kiddy rock tune for my client, Tiger Toys, where he nailed the “pocket” exactly, not too far from normal pop sounds, but with really tasty excursions into new territory. He also saved my butt on a Hamburger Helper spot in which the client recut the film after I’d recorded what was supposed to be the final track. I was on vacation in Hawaii at the time, so Jon went in to look at the cut and rewrote the track to fit. What more could one ask?
Jon also sparkles as an arranger. I asked Jon to do an arrangement of an Amy Grant tune for my wife Mimi’s vocal demo, and he came in with a perfect track in which he found and used every synth track, every drum fill, transposing the tune to Mimi’s register, in short doing everything to perfection. He has a great feel for jazz, rock, R&B, rap – you name it, he blows it out of the water. Jon arranged the rhythm tracks for a bunch of Starkist “Charlie the Tuna” tracks, in which he literally played in an entire drum set on his keyboard on one pass. I just sat there with my jaw hanging open.
Then comes Jon the instrumentalist. Not only are his keyboard skills wonderful, but his woodwind playing is in a word “delicious.” His improvisation is incredibly tasty, and stylistically, he’s always listening to the producer’s taste and modifies his playing to suit. He’s done some lovely work in my classical pieces, jazz works, rock stuff, and is a master at cartoon music, of which I’ve done a lot. I’ve had him on sessions playing saxes, clarinet, recorder, and flute. I always feel comfortable knowing he’s in my wind section.
Of course, I must mention Jon’s vocal abilities. For those of us who remember what “sight-singing” is, Jon is one of those masters who not only reads off the lead sheet the first time, but he’s already making changes in his treatment of the melody to suit the style. He’s ready for a take in 10 minutes, instead of those “singers” who have to spent half the day learning the tune by rote. He’s constantly saving production money by feeling what the producer wants before he requires it. Jon’s a man of a thousand voices, going from pop all the way to Beethoven and Brahms choral singing, and he sounds authentic everywhere in between. He came up with a fresh pop sound for the Tiger Toys “Ribbit Race” spot, then turned around and did a campaign of Dean Witter spots nailing a legitimate classical sound.
On top of the rest, it’s really important to know that Jon is a consummate trained professional who is always pushing to perfect the track on which he’s working. He has a great sense of humor and uses it to an advantage both musically and in session, where his attitude is so creative and cooperative. His suggestions during sessions often make the difference between just another track and something really special and out of the ordinary. I never hesitated to call Jon for a session and I hope you too will benefit from his talent.
Richard Manners, Owner/Orchestrator at Renaissance Music (retired)
Jon is one of the most extraordinarily talented people I’ve ever worked with. Vocalist, instrumentalist, writer, producer, engineer— he is truly a modern-day Renaissance man. His broad knowledge of many styles of music and his long experience in the business have made him invaluable to me on many projects over the years. And, I might add, he’s a genuinely nice guy and a pleasure to work with!
Composer, High Touch Music, Inc.
I have known Jon for many years. I’ve also worked with many people through the years and can honestly say that Jon is one of the most naturally gifted musicians i have ever met. Be it comedy music or serious content his approach is always spot on to what the music needs to be and how he can best serve the music. A truly gifted person
Guitar God and Music producer for Denis Leary
Lets put this simply. Jon Negus turned around an original song I needed in 24 hours, and the client LOVED IT! The song needed to be cuttable and fit a specific Video we already finished, and a specific budget. Jon said “Not a Problem” and it wasn’t. Just call Momcat Music, and save yourself a lot of headaches!
Whether composing, arranging, scoring, playing, singing or producing, Jon is a master musician of the highest rank. Facile and fast, dedicated and delightful to work with, his depth of knowledge and mastery of recording make him the first person I would call for any project. Any project.
Robert “Bob” Bowker
Artistic Director: The Lakeside Singers
Jon has collaborated with my agency for more than a decade on a variety of projects, from original music scores for film and video to original songs for corporate events and non-profits. Jon somehow balances his inner artist and businessman, working with challenging budgets and deadlines but always delivering excellence. While Jon is a gifted vocalist and musician, creativity is his greatest instrument!
During my years of music production in the Chicago area, Jon Negus has always been a first-call, “go to” guy. He can do everything and do it superbly. We have worked with him as a writer and as a singer, but also as an amazing instrumentalist. From keyboards and musical sound effects to all of the reed instruments and flutes to gifted technical ability, we are lucky to have had Jon as a consistent friend. His gracious manner and marvelous sense of humor have helped make even the most challenging assignments go smoothly. His studio productions skills are as good as any I’ve known. He is fast, efficient and smart. It’s always fun when Jon is on site!
President, OPUS III, Inc.
Executive Director – The Lakeside Singers, Inc.
“Jon Negus is the most widely skillful musician I know. He plays all the woodwinds, keyboards and percussion AND sings, all at the highest level. And he can arrange, produce, program tracks and function as the leader/producer or side-man, also all at the highest levels of excellence. He is a delight to work with….always cheerful and professional, and I count him a dear friend and colleague. I simply can’t recommend him highly enough for any project!”
Paul Langford Music