Dr. Jonathan Godfrey is a concert guitarist, session musician, and composer that has been described as “invitingly poetic” by the Boston Globe and "a fine young guitarist and composer" by Soundboard Magazine. He has been a soloist with The Florida Orchestra, the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Southern College 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, the South Shore Symphony Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and members of the Sarasota, Jacksonville, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. Artists he has shared the stage with include Bernadette Peters, Byron Stripling, and the New York Cantors. 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.
As a composer, Godfrey is the grand prize-winner of the 2010 Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition for his Sonatina for guitar solo, written for and premiered by Nemanja Ostojic, and was an honorable mention in the 2019 and 2021 Austin Classical Guitar Society Ensemble Composition Competitions. Among his most recent commissions to garner performances across the US includes his “Okeechobee Concerto” originally for plectrum banjo and orchestra (commissioned and premiered by the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra). His music has been featured at international venues such as the Manuel Enriquez Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva (Mexico City) and Serbia's Guitar Art World Festival. His most well-know arrangement is perhaps Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 by the Trans-Siberian orchestra for guitar quartet, which annually receives performances across the world. He is published with Clear Note Publications.
A first-call session musician for numerous studios and ensembles in South Florida’s vibrant entertainment industry, Godfrey has been in the local orchestras of several equity Broadway national tours (Mean Girls, Chicago, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and has performed in numerous regional equity theater productions. In 2021 he was selected to originate the guitar, mandolin, and dobro book for the world-premier run of Knoxville by legendary Broadway composer/lyricist duo Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Seussical, Anastasia, Ragtime). He has performed extensively with Sarasota Latin/Jazz music-scene staple Big Night Out and has has been the bandleader for Parrish United Methodist Church since 2012. Hailed as “The SunCoast’s power couple in music,” (Suncoast Culture Club), he can regularly been seen performing alongside his wife, soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey, as the duo “Corda Voce.” (www.CordaVoce.com).
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 guitar teachers include Ernesto Bitetti, Jason Vieaux, Philip Snyder, and John Huston, while his composition teachers include Aaron Travers, P.Q. Phan, Paul Schoenfeld, and Lee Johnson. He holds his DM from Indiana University, his MM from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and his BM from LaGrange College. He directs classical guitar studies at the University of South Florida and Florida Southern College and is on faculty at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.