Jonathan Nicholson

Jonathan Nicholson


"Jonathan Nicholson's harmonics-heavy instrumental acoustic music co-exists as complex foreground ambiance and water-smooth background music." - The Spokesman-Review


“[Jonathan] makes sensitive, gossamer-delicate guitar instrumentals that invoke a more introspective, self-exploratory side of the human psyche,” said about Jonathan Nicholson’s music.

Jonathan is a self-taught fingerstyle guitarist currently living in Spokane, WA, who has been making quite a stir in the last few years locally and abroad with his unique blend of soothing, yet intricate guitar work, and his emotionally captivating songwriting. “He manages to craft lovely tunes that reward a thoughtful and careful listener with lots of cool stuff to meditate upon.” (The Easterner)

Jonathan began playing guitar at 15 (much later than the typical guitarist), and it immediately became the vehicle for his passionate nature. “I remember playing until my fingers bled, and then taping my hands up, and playing for another few hours or so,” recalls Jonathan. “I just couldn’t stop playing. I felt this huge sense of loss when I would put down the guitar, like I had just lost my best friend. I couldn’t stay away. Actually, I still can’t.”

Since he first started playing, Jonathan was immediately drawn to writing riveting instrumental pieces, but it wasn’t until the fall of 1999 that he decided to take the plunge (after years of pestering by friends and family) and go from playing in bands to becoming a solo act. He recorded a demo in his apartment and adopted a name that reflected his love of mythology and unique spirit: Calliope’s Burden. The name was inspired by one of his favorite Greek myths, that of the muse Calliope watching her human son Orpheus (also a talented musician) helplessly as he lived his life…

So he started dropping off a tape locally simply entitled “Calliope’s Burden”, and noticed something quickly happening: He was getting calls back asking if he had a CD for sale, and where it could be bought. Oh yeah, and did he want to perform at these venues...

In the spring of 2002 he decided to stop using his stage name, and start performing simply as Jonathan Nicholson. “The name (Calliope’s Burden) was confusing for a lot of people, and I also started to feel that I was hiding behind it”, says Jonathan. “It was an amazing experience when I decided to abandon the stage name, it was very frightening yet liberating, like I was saying that I wasn’t afraid anymore to just be me.”

In the years since he began performing live, he has released 5 CDs, has written and recorded music for various Relaxation videos and Independent films, and due to the internet and word of mouth, has sold CDs in 7 different countries. He has made fans all of the world in places he's not even performed at yet...

"Although the saying is overused, I feel his music is very moving and full of spirit...” ( Mark Peterson, Good Morning Northwest KXLY NEWS 4) It is this spirit in his music that has made fans of all ages, and it is not uncommon for a small child to be dancing while an elderly couple is relaxing and enjoying the music with their eyes closed, while an aspiring teenage guitarist next to them is watching attentively as Jonathan performs.

Jonathan’s music touches people on a very personal level, and has become synonymous with relaxation, reflection, and just pure enjoyment. One fan wrote, “Jonathan creates a safe and beautiful space for the listener with his music that you never want to leave.”

And as another fan put simply:

“Listen, and Enjoy.”



1999 - Calliope's Burden (released under the name "Calliope's Burden")
2000 - Beautiful Dreams (released under the name "Calliope's Burden")
2002 - 90 Days (originally released under the name "Calliope's Burden", re-released in 2003 under "Jonathan Nicholson" )
2004 - Sojourn
2006 - Calliope's End


2004 - Floetry: Visions Of Nature (Jonathan composed and recorded all of the music on this DVD, which consisted of 4 relaxation videos)

All of the songs on Sojourn and Calliope's End are on rotation at, as well as on KPBX 91.1 in Spokane, WA. There are several other streaming stations online that feature these two albums. The nationwide radio show Echoes (which is aired on over 130+ radio stations) also has added Jonathan's music their rotation.

Set List

Jonathan performs 100% original material, and his average performance is between 1-2 hours. He does occasionally perform 4-hour shows, and has enough original material to accommodate this. He will typically play specific songs that he has written, if requested. He does not perform any covers.