Jon Solo began playing the piano at four years old. In his youth he went on to become a top ten finalist in The International Young Keyboard Artist Competition, and a regular cast member of the television show Music Magic, which was regionally broadcast and filmed in Seattle.
Solo was awarded a scholarship from Cornish College of the Arts where he earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano. He moved to New York and began cutting his teeth playing in renowned Jazz Clubs throughout the city. In the last 11 years he’s been a regular band member for Angus and Julia Stone, Brett Dennen, Passenger, and Dope Lemon, playing sold out world tours and major music festivals, such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, Outside Lands, Hang Out Festival, Austin City Limits, Bumbershoot, Osheaga Festival (Canada), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Pink Pop (Netherlands), Hurricane Festival (Germany), Montreaux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) Falls Festival (Australia), and many others.
Other career highlights include national television performances on The Dave Letterman Show, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, Good Morning America, and The CBS Morning Show.
In 2017, Jon Solo created Naneum, an ambient-piano based project. Since then, he’s released four full length albums and one EP. He was recently featured on NPR’s regularly broadcasted Echoes with John Diliberto, playing a live concert and interview. In 2018 he performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and licensed a song to Apple, which is on the iOS in the photo memories section.
We chatted with Jon on how he uses the Prophet-6 in his music:
What made you choose the Prophet 6?
Aside from the incredible analog engine, the built in effects makes this keyboard so flexible while playing live. I can grab knobs and turn them in the moment, without touching a screen. I’ve worn the cutoff filter knob decal because of how much I use it. It’s also incredibly wide in the stereo field.
How are you using it?
I’ve toured with it for years all over the world, and it can take a beating! I mainly use it for lush pads that I designed. It helps fill out choruses to songs in a musical way. Since the pandemic it’s been in my studio which goes on practically every recording.
What is one of your favorite things about it?
The pan spread knob is one of my favorite features while I create pads.
What does it give you that other synths might not?
The effects section and how easy it is to use. I like the versatility of two effects creating interesting combinations of sounds.
Any interesting Prophet 6 tricks or techniques you would like to share?
Play a minor nine chord using a pad sound, hit the hold button, and use the cutoff filter to create ambient space while playing live. Then you can free your hands to turn other knobs in the effects section.
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