Passion, versatility, positivity and enthusiasm. These are some of the attributes we’ve come to expect from talented all-round performer John Bartmann, whose energetic work as a guitarist, violinist, producer, chorister and band member over the past 15 years has often left audiences (and bandmates) smiling and roaring for more. With a schooling in jazz piano and classical violin, Bartmann has expanded his repertoire of self-taught talents to include rock and jazz guitar, jazz violin, singing, electronic music production and composition.
Equally happy performing in large groups as a front or sideman, or on his own while busking in the street, John Bartmann’s mysteriously abundant energy for all things musical is absolutely enchanting. Indefatigably inspired to continue striving for nothing but excellence, Bartmann is a highly treasured and valuable addition to South African music and music education.
The charming, French-inspired gypsy jazz genre remains the focus of Bartmann’s effort as a guitarist. Sometimes called ‘the sound of wartime Paris’, this rhythmic style is characterised by fast, energetic ‘la pompe’ (‘the pump’) right arm technique, and scales influenced by the Eastern European gypsy and flamenco traditions. Bartmann performs a sizeable repertoire of jazz standards in the gypsy jazz style either solo on guitar and violin using a looper pedal, or in duos and trios around Cape Town.
Violin & Mandolin
As a violinist, John Bartmann’s focus on Irish traditional music has seen him accompany neo-pagan acoustic outfit Myddle Earth to the Celtic Music Festival in Knysna and to performances at the Irish South African Society events, the Rotary Club International’s Celtic, Scottish and Irish fundraisers, the Hout Bay Harbour Market, the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed launch, the Western Cape Music Industry Commission events and more. As a solo violinist, Bartmann is also available for performances of processional music and light classical pop for weddings and functions. Bartmann performs on either an acoustic violin or a Fender FV-3 electric violin, for a more flamboyant, rock approach. Mandolin may also be considered amongst performance options.
Composition & licensing accolades
John Bartmann began producing music in 2006 and has licensed electronic and orchestral compositions to Wagram Records (France) with his ‘future jazz’ band PRAVDA, as well as the South African Broadcasting Commission, DNA Musik (Germany) and theatre company Bard & Troubadour (UK). In 2010 and 2011, Bartmann twice won first prize in the Klipdrift Real Men Can Sing Comedy Songwriting Competition for his parodies ‘Hotel Phalaborwa’ and ‘The Fresh Prince of De Aar’. In 2014, he achieved a place in the finals of the Boss Loopstation Championships with original song ‘Fly’, and has entered and made the finals of the Barleycorn Songwriting Competition numerous times over the years.