Jon Metzger

Professor of Music and Artist-In-Residence
Koury Center (Athletics) 135
2800 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5683

Professional Expertise

Percussion, Jazz Studies

Brief Biography

       'A star vibist” and 'a flawless vibist,” as he has been trumpeted by Jazztimes and Cadence respectively, Jon Metzger has achieved an international presence through extensive touring, recording, and lecturing.  A winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant for Performance, he has appeared throughout the United States and Europe and has served as a jazz ambassador in more than 20 foreign countries in the Near East, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency's Arts America Program.  A Musser endorsee and clinician for 25 years and a three-time Grammy nominee, Metzger has appeared on more than 35 recordings for the VSOP, Soul Note, Jazz Karma, Summit, Brown Boulevard, and Elon Improvibes labels with artists Fred Hersch, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron, Harvie Swartz, Ron Elliston, Ronnie Wells, Phil Markowitz, Jack Wilkins, Allison Miller, Cyrus Chestnut, Herlin Riley, Vincent Gardner, Tom Brantley, Danny Gottlieb, Neena Freelon, and Tony Martucci, among many others.  The author of The Art and Language of Jazz Vibes (now in its second edition) and an active composer with more than 50 published compositions to his credit, he has served as the Associate Editor of the International Association of Jazz Educators Journal and currently is the Artist in Residence at Elon University, where he was presented with the University Distinguished Scholar Award for 2005.  A recipient of the North Carolina Miles Davis Jazz Education Service Award, Metzger's signature vibraphone mallet was released recently by the Pro-Mark Corporation, and he also recently served as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department of State assisting Haceteppe State University in Ankara, Turkey on the formation of their new Jazz Studies Program.  Metzger has been named to the Jazz Times Critics' Poll (2011) and the Downbeat Magazine Readers' Poll (2012) in the vibes category.



Master of Music, Percussion Performance, The North Carolina School of the Arts, 1994

Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance, The North Carolina School of the Arts, 1981

(Student of J. Massie Johnson.  Masterclass studies with Milt Jackson, Gary Burton, Dave Samuels, Gordon Stout.)


Continuing Education through Professional Meetings and Conferences

  • Jazz Education Network, International Conference, 2012
  • National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, 2000-2006, 2008
  • East Coast Jazz Festival, 1992-2005
  • International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, 1991, 2000
  • Percussive Arts Society International Conference, 1999, 2005, 2007
  • North Carolina Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion, 1990, 2004

Employment History

At Elon University:

  • Artist in Residence, Professor, Chair Music Department, 2013-Present
  • Artist in Residence, Professor - Music, 2012-2013
  • Artist in Residence, Associate Professor of Music, 2005-Present
  • Artist in Residence, Assistant Professor of Music, 1998-2005
  • Instructor in Percussion, Jazz Studies, 1989-1998


See Presentations and Publications for additional Employment History    

Courses Taught

At Elon University:

Courses in Applied Percussion, Applied Jazz Studies, Percussion Techniques, Percussion Ensemble, Aural Skills, Jazz History, Jazz Combo, Jazz Harmony, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation I and II, Senior Seminar, Performance Tours/Study Abroad Activities in Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, and Denmark, Elon Fellows Mentoring

Leadership Positions

At Elon University:

Founded Percussion Ensemble (1990) and served as Director (1990-2013)

Developed Minor in Jazz Studies (1999) and served as Coordinator (1999-Present)

Re-instated domestic and international Winter Term Jazz Ensemble Tour (1998)

Instrumental in the development of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Experience Program (1997) including winning a $385,000 FIPSE Grant from the US Department of Education for expanding experiential and entrepreneurial learning

Founded Elon University Jazz Festival (1997) and served as Festival Director (1997-2013)

Faculty Liason, Academic Council Sub-Committee on Adjunct and Limited Term Faculty (2002-Present, Chair 2006-2008), Completed University By-law change to have adjunct representative serve on Academic Council

Distinguished Scholar Selection Committee (2006)

Chair, Promotion and Tenure Committee (2010-2011)

Initiated international Summer Session I Jazz Ensemble Tour (2010)

Chair, Music Department PR Committee (2009-2012) 

Interim Chair, Music Department (2011)

Chair, Music Department (2013-Present)


Music Industry Leadership Positions:

Artist/Clinician Pro Mark Corporation, Houston, TX, 2007-Present

Signature Mallet, Pro Mark Corporation, Houston, TX, 2007-Present

Artist/Clinician Selmer-Ludwig Industries, Elhart, IN, 1988-Present

Artist/Clinician Grover Pro Percussion, Stoneham, MA, 1994-2002

Percussion Events Registry Company, Dallas, TX, 1996-Present

North Carolina Touring Roster, Raleigh, NC, 1994-98

Jazz Touring Roster, Southern Arts Federation, Atlanta, GA, 1991-93

Resource Team Member, International Association of Jazz Educators, Manhattan, KS, 1999-2008

Advisory Board, East Coast Jazz Festival, Rockville, MD, 1991-2004

Associate Editor, Jazz Education Journal (the journal of the Internatinal Association of Jazz Educators), Manhattan, KS, 1999-2008

Bi-monthly columnist ("Practicing Improvisation"), Jazz Player Magazine, Medfield, MA, 1996-98

Editor, Sticks and Mallets Magazine, Medfield, MA, 1997-98


See Publications

Current Projects

     Metzger is currently preparing for upcoming master class and recital performances at the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention, Furman University, Winthrop University, Rollins College, Capitol University, the North Carolina Day of Percussion, and the North Carolina Central Regional Jazz Festival. 

Grants Awarded

Federal Assistance Award, US Embassy, Hamburg, Germany, 2010

Sabbatical, Elon University 2007

Project Pericles Grant, Elon University, 2003

National Endowment for the Arts, Jazz Performance Fellowship, 1985



Method Book:  The Art and Language of Jazz Vibes, EPM Publications, McLean, VA, 1996   (in use throughout the United States, Western Europe, and South America)   Second Edition, 2008

Book Chapter:  The Bop Cop:  The Life and Music of Lem Winchester, Scott Davidson,, Wilmington, DE, 2011 (Chapter included analysis and Listening guides for recordings of seven Lem Winchester original compositions.) 

Professional Recordings: 

As Leader: 

Common Ground, Improvibes, Elon, NC, 2003

Times Fly, Improvibes, Elon, NC, 2001

Teach Me Tonight, Improvibes, Elon, NC, 1998

The Spinner, VSOP Records, San Diego, CA 1997

Into the Light, VSOP Records, Washington, DC, 1988, *Received Grammy Nomination

Out of the Dark, VSOP Records, Washington, DC, 1986 *Received Grammy Nomination

Jon Metzger/Vibes, Jonder Brook Productions, McLean, VA 1984 


Selected Others: 

When Freedom Swings, Iwiggs Music, Durham, NC,  2012

Christmas, Brown Boulevard Music, Durham, NC, 2012 *Received Grammy Nomination

Carolina Tracks, JSF Records, Boulder, CO, 2012

Ben Seni Variations, Summitt Records, 2012

The Blue and Green Project, Summit Records, 2011 

Setting Standards, Boulevard Records, Durham, NC 2011 

Stream of Pearls, Zoning Records, Charlotte, NC, 2011

Insight at Midnight, Tymus Music, Durham, NC, 2009

Girl Trombone Player/And She Sings Too, McCracken Music, G’boro, NC, 2008

Waltzing the Splendor, Zoning Recordings, Charlotte, NC, 2007

10 Years in 5 Days, Howland Ensemble,  Howland Records, Sugar Loaf Key, FL, 2003  

Benny Goodman, NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Metro Records, Charlotte, NC, 1998

Todd Wright, Wright Stuff, Boone, NC, 1998

After You, Jazz Karma, Silver Spring, MD, 1994

Dedications, Paolo Productions, Durham, NC, 1994

Live at Montpelier, Jazz Karma, Silver Spring, MD, 1992

Make Me a Present of You, Jazz Karma, Silver Spring, MD, 1992

Reiko, Soul Note, Italy, 1990

After the Lights Go Down Low, Jazz Karma, Silver Spring, MD, 1990

Passing By, Indigo Records, Washington, DC, 1990

For You, For Me, Forevermore, Jazz Karma, Silver Spring, MD, 1989 


Professional Journals:  Associate Editor, Jazz Education Journal (the journal of the International Association of Jazz Educators), Manhattan, KS, 1999-2008 (Responsibilities include overseeing pedagogical content of new teaching materials, new music, new recordings, new technology, all regular columns, all page proofs) 

Editor, Sticks & Mallets Magazine, Medfield, MA, 1997-98 (Responsibilities included all content, all page proofs)

Articles in Professional Journals: 

Sources for Improvised Melodies for Beginning Jazz Vibes and Beyond, Percussive Notes (the journal of the Percussive Arts Society), Indianapolis, IN, October, 2007

A New Vision for Jazz and Entrepreneurship at Elon University, with Barth Strempek,Jazz Education Journal, Manhattan, KS, September/October, 2003

Transcribing Jazz Vibes Solos, Percussive Notes, Lawton, OK, January, 2001

Getting Started with Improvisation, Percussive Notes, Lawton, OK, October,1998 


Bi-monthly column "Practicing Improvisation" Jazz Player Magazine, Medfield, MA, 1996-98  

Selected Articles:     Practicing Tunes, December/January, 1998; Composing Helps, April/May, 1998; No "Wrong" Notes on Dominant Chords, August/September, 1997; Practicing Away from the Instrument: Listening and Observing, June/July, 1997; Gain Freedom Confidently, April/May, 1997; Shaping Your Practice Around a Common Chord Progression, Feb./March, 1997;  Approaching Practice: 11 Guidelines Including Patience, Positive Thinking, Getting Organized, August/September, 1996 (part two) June/July, 1996 (part one) 

Educational Recordings/Transcriptions:  Masterclass CD:  Connecting Melodic Ideas from Chord to Chord (includes performance of Jon Metzger's The Spinner, a "live" masterclass, and a play-along version of Jon Metzger's Credit Line), Jazz Player Magazine, Medfield, MA, Aug./Sept., 1997 (Jon Metzger on cover of  magazine)

Latin Jazz Play-Along CD (features the Jon Metzger Quartet performing five play-along versions of Jon Metzger original compositions:  Doubles, Bossa Linda, Time Again, Open Face Samba, Afterthought) Jazz Player Magazine, Medfield, MA, Dec./Jan., 1996 (Jon Metzger on cover of magazine)

Analysis of Jon Metzger's composition Afterthought by Frank Bongiorno (includes transcription of Keith Waters' improvised solo), Jazz Player Magazine, Medfield, MA, Dec./Jan., 1996

Transcription and Analysis of Jon Metzger's improvised solo on Shorty, by Tony Dagradi, Jazz Player Magazine, Medfield, MA, Aug./Sept., 1994   


Compositions for Percussion (All Published by C. Alan Publications):  

ICJ#, Steel Pans, Marimba, 2013

Just Ask, Solo Vibraphone, 2012

Step-to-Step:  Collected Solos for the Developing Percussionist, Vibraphone, Marimba, Timpani, 2012

Water Catcher, Solo Piano, 2011 (also as set with Terra Firma/Riversong Bagatelle)

Terra Firma, Solo Piano, 2011 (also as set with Water Catcher/Riversong Bagatelle)               

Knight Music, Three Movement Collection for Tenor Voice, Piano, Vibes, and  Marimba, with text by Langston Hughes and William Yates, 2011

Moral Compass, Four Movement Collection for Soprano Voice, Alto Saxophone, and Percussion Trio, with text by Mark Twain, 2010   

Riversong Bagatelle, Solo Piano, 2010Moral Compass, Soprano, Alto Saxophone, Percussion Trio, 2011

The  Absence of Color, Perc. Sextet, 2010 

Which Way Loose, Solo Vibes, 2009

Did You Say, Solo Vibes, 2009 

River Song, Solo Vibes, 2008

Stories, Voice, Piano, Perc. Quartet, 2006

Black Elk Speaks, Percussion Octet, 2004

Zoroastrian Thunder, Perc. Nonet, 2003 

Imageries, Solo Vibes, 2002  

Batterie Diabolique, Perc. Nonet, 2002         

Steps, Five Pieces for Vibes, 2001 

Steps, Five Pieces for Timpani, 1999 

Steps, Five Pieces for Marimba, 1999

Jazz Bis, Percussion Sextet, 1997 

Double East, Marimba Solo, 1997

Spiral Passages, Marimba Solo, 1996 

Four Flights, Flute/Percussion Duet, 1996

On Verchiel's Wings, Perc. Quartet, 1995

Elephant Walk, Vibes/Marimba Duet, 1995   

Selected Performance Credits for Jon Metzger Percussion Compositions:  Texas All-State required concert list (Spiral Passages); Minnesota All-State required concert list (Double East); Spiral Passages (Nathan Daughtrey CD recording); University of North Texas; National Percussion Pedagogy Conference; CAL Arts; University of North Florida; Texas Tech University; Cameron University; Florida West Coast Symphony; NC School of the Arts; Indiana State University; University of Minnesota; UNC-Asheville; UNC-Greensboro; Winged Victory (Lenoir-Rhyne Percussion Program CD recording); NC Day of Percussion; Elon University; East Carolina University; Silk Road (Lin Chin-Cheng CD recording, The Netherlands); University of Maryland; Universita per Stranieri (Perugia, Italy); University of Central Arkansas; University of Indiana; University of Helsinki 

Compositions for Jazz Vibraphone (All Published by Jonder Brook Productions and Recorded by Jon Metzger): Credit Line, Huey's Waltz, Open Face Samba, My Lady, Doubles (1984) Out of the Dark, Sherwood's Party, Belizean Bump, Remembering Goofar, Linda's Back (1996) Into the Light, Bossa Linda, Via Via, Afterthought, Windy Hill Song, Walls (1988); The Spinner, I'll Always Be Loving You, J Bop, The L Bell, Time Again, Getting Back To It, Mixed Up, 4 JMJ (1997) At Home (1998) 

Big-Band Commissioned Composition (Published by Jonder Brook Production): Due North (2010) for the BLE Ensemble and performances at Blues Alley, Strathmore Hall, Bohemian Caverns, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC) and Smalls Jazz Club and Iridium Jazz Club (New York, NY)    

Documentary Film.  One Night in Kernersville, by Rodrigo Dorfman, Durham, NC,2011 (with the John Brown Jazz Orchestra).  Winner of the Jury Award for the Best Short Film at the 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival


Selected Professional Performances (As Leader or Featured Soloist): (*denotes multiple appearances)

Halls:  LincolnCenter* Wolf Trap Farm Park* KennedyCenter* Strathmore Hall Constitution Hall Montpelier Cultural Arts Center* Smithsonian Institution Capitol Theatre (York, PA) Corcoran Gallery of Art National Museum of Women in the Arts StevensCenter* (Winston-Salem, NC)

International Tours:  United States Information Agency Arts America Program, fully funded, seven-week, nine-country tour of the Near East, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa

United States Information Agency Arts America Program, fully funded, five-week, six-country tour of Central America

Department of State, Cultural Envoy, United States Embassy, Ankara, Turkey

Jamfest Festival, Kingston,Jamaica Five-week tour of Germany and Italy (including the Spoleto Festival) Two-week tour of Belgium and Holland 

Selected Clubs: The Blue Note, New York, NY* Blues Alley, Washington, DC* King of France Tavern, Annapolis, MD*       One Step Down, Washington, DC* Top O’ The Town, Arlington, VA* Columbia Station, Washington, DC* The Shire, Cape May, NJ Top O’ The Foolery, Washington, DC* Benjamin’s, Richmond, VA* Harold’s Rogue and Jar, Washington, DC* Richard’s, Jacksonville, FL* Anton’s 1201 Club, Washington, DC* The Arts Center, Carrboro, NC* Blackbeards, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands*

Festivals:  East Coast Jazz Festival, Rockville, MD* (13 consecutive appearances) Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC* Riverbend Festival, Chattanooga, TN KnoxvilleJazz Festival, Knoxville, TN Jazz and Heritage Festival, Raleigh, NC* North Carolina Jazz and Heritage Festival, Laurinburg, NC* Umbria Jazz Festival, Durham, NC* Shenandoah Music Festival, Mt. Jackson, VA Belle Chere Festival, Asheville, NC* Philador Percussion Festival, Durham, NC* Jazz Charlotte, Charlotte, NC* Philadelphia Jazz Festival, Philadelphia, PA 

Other Professional Performances (As Leader or Featured Soloist): (*denotes multiple appearances) “Stuff” (NBC-TV) Arts in America” (Austrian TV) BET Network* Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art* World Net TV* The Mint Museum* Percussive Arts Society’s Int’l Conv.*  Int’l Assc. of Jazz Educators Conference*  JEN International Conference NC, VA, MD, AR Day of Percussion* Martin Williams Jazz Series* NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra*Nat’l Conference on Percussion Pedagogy* Music Educators National Conference* Voice of America Radio (two live performances in advance of USIA tours, broadcast over 180+ stations)* Jazz South Radio (first artist selected to be profiled by Southern Arts Federation, broadcast over 120+ stations.  Only artist selected more than once)*  

Selected Professional Concert and Recording Credits (Jon Metzger has performed and/or recorded with the following artists):  Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Gunther Schuller, Jimmy Owens, Donald Byrd, Joe Lovano, Mark Levine, Fred Hersch, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron, Phil Markowitz, Tony Williams, Ted Moore, Etta Jones, Lonnie Liston Smith, Buddy DeFranco, Buster Williams, Keter Betts, Buck Hill, Houston Person, Harvey Swartz, Curt Lightsy, Ernie Andrews, Duffy Jackson, Tony Martucci, James King, Keith Waters, Neena Freelon, Jack Wilkins, Leo Wadada Smith, John Bergamo, Allison Miller, Virginia Mayhew, Bill Smith, Ronnie Wells, Ron Elliston, Steve Abshire, John Jensen, Carl Fontana, Gary Chafee, Drew Gress, Zoro, Ed Soph, Lynn Seaton, Frank Foster, Luther Hughes, Danny Gottlieb, Skip Gailes, Jae Sinnett, Ivan Renta, Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Brad Leali, Greg Tardy, Jerald Shynett, Cyrus Chestnut, Vincent Gardner

SCHOLARLY PRESENTATIONS  Selected Masterclasses Given (Includes Recital Performance): (*denotes multiple appearances)  Berklee College of Music VPI and State University University of North Texas Towson State University* Smithsonian Institution University of Maryland (College Park)* Percussive Arts Society Int’l Conv.* Old Dominion University University of North Florida-Jacksonville* Duke Ellington School of the Arts CALArts* Virginia Commonwealth University* North Carolina School of the Arts* Greensboro College DukeUniversity* Meredith College University of North Carolina-Greensboro* Appalachian State University* University of North Carolina-Wilmington*   Indiana State University University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill* University of Wisconsin (La Crosse) University of North Carolina-Charlotte University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) North Carolina State University University of Arkansas (Conway)* North Carolina A&T State University Arkansas State University East Carolina University* Lenoir-Rhyne College* Baylor University Texas A&M University University of South Florida-Tampa* James Madison University* Cameron University Radford University* Colgate University McDaniel College Haceteppe State University (Turkey) Izmir Conservatory (Turkey) Conservatory for Music and Dramatic Arts (Austria) Univeristy of Central Florida     

Professional Activities

See Presentations and Publications

Service Activities

At Elon University:

Chair Music Department, 2013-Present

Long Range Planning Committee, 2012-Present

Music Department, Interim Chair, 2011

Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2009-2010 (Chair, 2010)

Isabella Cannon Center International Studies Advisory Committee, 2008-2010

Distinguished Scholar Selection Committee, 2006

Lyceum Committee, 2004-2006

Admissions Committee, 2003-2004

Academic Council Sub-Committee on Adjunct and Limited Term Faculty, 2002-Present

Senior Showcase Committee, 2001-2004


Music Industry Service:

Resource Team Member, International Associattion of Jazz Educators, Manhattan, KS, 1999-2008

Advisory Board, East Coast Jazz Festival, Rockville, MD, 1991-2004

Judge, International Solo Vibraphone Composition Contest, Percussive Arts Society, Lawton, OK, 2004, 2011

Selection Committee, National Endowment for the Arts, Arts America Program, Washington, DC, 1995

Personal Information

Married to Linda Brookshire for 32 years

Avid cook, gardener, tennis player, golfer, fisherman

Proudly owned by a rescue basset hound, Boomer


See above

Professional Development

Jazz Education Network International Conference, 2012

National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, 2000-2006

East Coast Jazz Festival Clinics and Masterclasses, 1991-2004

International Association of Jazz Educators Conference Clinics, Workshops, and Masterclasses, 1991, 2000

Percussive Arts Society International Conference Clinics, Workshops, and Masterclasses, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2013

NC, VA, MD, AR Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion Clinics, Workshops, and Masterclasses, 1990-Present


North Carolina Miles Davis Jazz Teaching and Service Award, 2006

Distinguished Scholar Award, Elon University, 2005

American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Plus Awards, 1985-2014



Downbeat Magazine, Readers' Poll, Vibes Category, 2012

Jazz Times, Critics Poll, Vibes Category, 2011