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Bridging Divides

BRIDGING DIVIDES is my collection of music-based projects and initiatives, all aimed towards healing divisions in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. It currently includes:

  • CONCERTS AND WORKSHOPS - by The Billy Jonas Band (funky folk music for all ages), by Abraham Jam (Jewish-Muslim-Christian super-trio), and by Billy Jonas.
  • CO-MISSIONS - anthems and theme songs, created jointly with organizations and institutions, to energize and capitalize social justice initiatives. Primary focus: to address cultural, racial, and religious divides.
  • BRIDGING DIVIDES: Dreaming the Decade in Song - a special project creating new commissioned, dedicated, and sponsored songs to guide us into and through the next bunch of years.
  • BRIDGING DIVIDES CONCLAVE - a gathering of folks (including you!) who are inspired to learn, create, and brainstorm, towards putting more love in the world. Details coming.

Billy Jonas Band

The Billy Jonas Band

Throw out the rules when the Billy Jonas Band hits the stage! It's a musical conversation… a sonic celebration … a splendiferous gathering of old and young, because at a Billy Jonas Band show, the ensemble is… everyone

The Billy Jonas Band

"My favorite instrument is the audience. I work to 'tribalize' the compositions … to create songs that provide an immediate opportunity for the listener to join in."– Billy Jonas

Fun for All Ages

The Billy Jonas Band loves to engage and delight both young and adult audiences. Whether performing for adults, families, school groups, faith communities, or a mix, they strive for a musical excellence that inspires, entertains, and moves people literally and figuratively. With "wild winded word magic" (Dirty Linen Magazine), homemade "industrial re-percussion" instruments, exquisite 3 and 4 part vocal harmonies, plus guitar and bass, they love to create community through song and story. Their specialty: finding and pushing your "wonder" button.

In 2010, the Billy Jonas Band was honored with a performance at the White House!

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(vocals, guitar, re-percussion) co-founded Oberlin's Big Bang Theory in the 80's, went on in the 90's to funky folk fame and fortune with The
Billys, and now with The Billy Jonas Band goes hummin' and strummin' and bangin' and sangin' across North America, promulgating homemade "industrial re-percussion," genre-bending "funky family folk," and the participatory joy of "everybody's in the band."

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ASHLEY JO FARMER: (vocals, re-percussion) – In turns soulful, sensual and humorous, Ashley adds an exciting vocal dimension to the Billy Jonas Band. She also leads The Ashley Jo Farmer Band (AJFB), political firebrands & festival favorites.

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SHERMAN HOOVER: (vocals, bass, re-percussion) – With a varied background in classical, jazz and progressive rock,
Sherman holds down the funky bottom for the band while adding innovative harmonies to the mix.

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JUAN HOLLADAY: (vocals, marimba, re-percussion) – Juan is a mover and a groover and adds sweet tenor harmonies. His band The Secret B Sides has been voted #1 soul/R&B band in Western NC for 3 years running!

For more info, or for booking, contact, 518.647.5916.

Abraham Jam

Jewish-Muslim-Christian Super-Trio

photo of Abraham Jam, Billy Jonas, Dawud Wharnsby, David LaMotte

"A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a concert hall...." For real! Abraham Jam is the brainchild of singer/songwriter and peace activist David LaMotte. Since 2015 Billy has been a member, dedicated to fostering dialogue, understanding, and celebration among folks from the three "Abrahamic" faiths. Each concert and/or workshop features a trio consisting of professional musicians from each tradition. Instead of alternating in the sharing of their songs, they participate in making music together, embodying their mutual respect and affection, rather than just talking about it. Members of Abraham Jam have included Billy, Dawud Wharnsby, Dan Nichols, David LaMotte, and Chris Rosser. For more detailed information contact

Visit the Abraham Jam website here to find out where we will be performing during the months ahead or to book us for a concert in your area. There are also some live videos on the site for you to enjoy!

Billy Jonas


Some ask: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Billy Jonas asks: “What is the sound of 600 sets of keys jingling on the downbeat? And how shall we inspire the audience to do it?”

For over thirty years, Billy Jonas -- performer, singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator -- has perfected the art of the neo-tribal hootenanny* with audiences around the globe. Using voice, guitar, and industrial re-percussion,* each concert is a soul-spelunking, heart healing, joy-filled journey.

“It began around an evening campfire in the summer of 1972 -- Leaving on a Jet Plane and Blowing in the Wind rising with the sparks into the darkness... communal singing, guitars strumming, and a bucket thumping the back beat. 40 summer campers and 8 counselors became one big, glorious, harmonizing being. I remember thinking: wouldn’t it be great to carry this ecstatic connectedness, and musical magic out into the world?”
- Billy

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Billy developed his craft in the late 1980‘s as a founding member of the Oberlin College Big Bang Theory performance art collective. He refined things further in Chicago during monthly “Bangalong with Billy” shows at the No Exit Cafe, and subsequently in the 1990‘s as a co-founder (with Bill Melanson) of the funky folk* duo The Billys.He currently tours with the Billy Jonas Band, with Abraham Jam (Muslim-Christian-Jewish trio), and solo. The Billy Jonas Band was honored with an invitation to perform at the White House in 2010.

Jonas has received numerous honors and awards, including an American Federation of Independent Musicians 1st place/Gold, multiple Parents Choice Golds, and a New York Times “Best” listing.*
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Originally from Chicago, Billy has lived in Asheville NC since 1991.

* = see FAQ and AWARDS on the sidebar.

For more info, or for booking, contact, 518.647.5916.