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Jonathan Godfrey

Guitarist | Composer |


Dr. Jonathan Godfrey is a concert guitarist, session musician, composer, and arranger whose works and playing have been described as “invitingly poetic” by the Boston Globe. He has been a soloist with The Florida Orchestra, The New York Cantors, members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra New Music Ensemble, the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra, the Pops Orchestra of Bradenton-Sarasota, the State College of Florida Symphonic band, the North Port Concert Band, the Choral Artists of Sarasota, members of the Sarasota Orchestra, members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Artists he has shared the stage with include Bernadette Peters, Broadway royalty Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and Count Basie Orchestra trumpeter Byron Stripling. He has been a repeat guest lecturer at the Guitar Foundation of America International Festival and Competition and has recorded solo works for the Education Embassy of Spain and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. 

Godfrey is the grand prize-winner of the 2010 Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition (Sonatina for solo guitar) and was an honorable mention in the 2019 and 2021 Austin Classical Guitar Society Ensemble Composition Competitions. Among his most novel works is a single-movement concerto for plectrum banjo known as the the Okeechobee Concerto that has received commissions for full orchestra, symphonic band, guitar ensemble, and piano reduction. Commissions for his original works and arrangements have come from around the world and have included performances in Mexico City at the Manuel Enriquez Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva and Serbia's Guitar Art World Festival. 

A resident of Florida's Suncoast since 2012, Godfrey occupies a rare niche in Florida's entertainment industry for being a sought after jazz and popular music player in addition to his classical playing. His expertise in instruments ranging from banjo to mandolin and styles from jazz to country has allowed him to enjoy pursuing a diversity of musical interests, including being the lead guitarist in Sarasota music-scene staple Big Night Out, recording and performing for Norwegian Creative Studios, playing in concert for American Idol finalist Michael Lynche, and playing with the Andy Pursell Band opening for Montgomery Gentry. He has been in the local orchestras of the equity national tours of Mean Girls, Chicago, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and has performed in regional equity productions of Evita, Ragtime, The Sound of Music, and Knoxville. Hailed as “The Suncoast’s power couple in music,” (Suncoast Cultural Club), he has performed extensively with his wife soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey as Corda Voce, a guitar and voice duo highlighting cabaret, jazz, and popular music alongside classical repertoire. For more information, visit

Godfrey is a prize-winner of the 13th Annual Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America (Indiana University), the 2010 Indianapolis Musicale Matinee Graduate Strings Competition, and the 2010 National Association of Arts and Letters Competition (Bloomington chapter). His former guitar teachers include Ernesto Bitetti, Jason Vieaux, Philip Snyder, and John Huston, while his former composition teachers include Aaron Travers, P.Q. Phan, Paul Schoenfeld, and Lee Johnson. He holds his Doctor of Music from Indiana University, his Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and his Bachelor of Music from LaGrange College. 

Godfrey currently serves on the faculty of the State College of Florida and Saint Leo University.