John Lee

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New Album To Be Released February 2018


My long awaited album "Chu Bubaloo" is finally ready here for the world's ears to hear. Chant Records, a NYC record label putting out many records of unreleased creative music, is the home for "Chu Bubaloo". 


Recorded in September 2013, this album captures a dark transitional period in Lee’s life. In the thick of depression and a recent separation, Chu Bubabloo is an intriguing memoir about failure, success, and possibility of purpose. Lee features musicians Graham Doby on drums, TJ Turqman on electric bass, and Matt Rippetoe on saxophone. Elements of afrobeat, folk, indie, jazz, and surf rock tie together Chu Bubabloo into an epic searing guitar story..  



Chant Records February 2018 Releases



5x5 Dance and Music

5 by 5
St. Columba's Episcopal Church
Washington, DC
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Nov 19, 2016 3:30 PM

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General - Artist Supporter  ($20.00 Minimum)
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5 by 5
Presented by SYLVANA CHRISTOPHER, five exciting young choreographers show five modern dance pieces:

"Getting to Know You"
The curious journey from complete strangers to trusted friends, inspired in part by the choreographer's cat, Mr. Peaches. Music by Mr. Jay's Sandbox Experience.

"Then she fell"
Inspired by Icarus from Greek mythology, this collaboration turns an inquisitive eye on greed, trust, addiction, and the perils of flying too high. Dancers sweep and swirl to navigate a precarious relationship teetering from protective to prohibitive. Who leads who? Who is supposed to let go? Danced to original music by John Lee created for this work. 

"The Last Time I Saw You: devotion chorus"
This work in progress solo features recorded and present tense audio and written text from the performer and past collaborators, as well as a soundtrack of emotionally charged ballad and pop. The performance simultaneously reveals and obscures the internal state of the participant as she reflects on a recent history of travel and dispossession.

"Creating Darkness"
Once endowed in light your purpose is clear. Rebuild, remodel, and rise: 
the darkness is no more...the light has seized my vision.

"Implicit Affection"
A solo movement exploration of the desire to not be so attached to the things we want most. Music by Moderat.

Plus Special Guests:
Dancers Sandra Roachford and Ken Manheimer explore changes between them, where they are, what they see, and how it affects their relationship in a continuing dance of space and time supported by the

Jazz Jam at Sotto Summer 2016


I'll be hosting the Jazz Jam at Sotto every Tuesday through the end of August except August 9th when Im on tour with Fatoumata Diawara. I'll be filling in for the host Mark G Meadows who will be the lead in the musical Jellys Last Dance. Elliot Seppa will be holding down the bass and Jack Kilby will be laying down the drums. Stop on by and bring your instruments.


JL Promo Vid

This Week


This week I'll be performing @ The Purple Fiddle Thursday August 15th in Thomas WV

Click Here! to join on Facebook

I'll following that up with a string of shows with Talking Drummer Baye Kouyate in NYC this weekend.

We'll be performing at Shrine in Harlem Friday August 16h

In September were going to be recording my next album so Stay Tuned!


Video for the people of West Texas


May 3, 2013. The Keegan Theatre of Washington DC held a fundraiser called "Un-Dress for West". This is because it was preview opening for the current production of The Full Monty. About $2,000 was raised and will be hand delivered to the West Volunteer Fire Department by Joe Rhea, brother of Keegan Theatre's Mark A. Rhea from Osceola, Texas just 16 or so more miles from West. This was our homeland. We wanted to do more. I grew up in Aquilla, only 8 miles from West. Many of the people affected are people I know, and their kin. My brother served as a police officer there and was a first responder after the explosion. This video is a message of love and it is my hope that it will be like a special card from a family member, that one that you get out when you are sad, and it always makes you feel better. Some amazing people participated in this, and they were all happy to be a part.

The music is "Winter Song" by John Lee, from "Somewhere Impossible to Find" on chineseirishman records.
Used with Full Permission. All rights retained.
Video was conceived and produced by Richie Montgomery and 3momentsmedia, LLC.
Shot at Keegan Theatre, May 3, 2013, Washington D.C.


an essay about me


When first listening to John Lee’s music the first word that may come to mind is epic. J.C. Kuhl says, “John Lee is all about the epic guitar solos.” There is always a story being built and always something unexpected. His solos will change texture dramatically with one solo consisting of beautifully constructed jazz and blues lines and another consisting of entirely “environmental sounds.” In congruence with his dynamic guitar solos, his compositions lend themselves to this fluid style of playing. His compositions range from many different genres including, but not limited to, reggae, rock, funk, latin, jazz, and punk. When a musician plays and writes at this highly diverse level, it begs the question of where their musical influences came from. It is my goal in this paper to show how John Lee’s musical background and study has influenced his compositions and overall guitar playing.


New Review from Sweden!

New Review Up!

Nature Series on the radio


Hey guys, I've recently discovered my love of radio again. It was in fact radio programs who introduced me to amazing guitarist's such as Bobby Broom and Badin Powell. Radio was crucial in my learning process in my earlier years when i began to study jazz and I had no idea who anyone was. Later in life living in NYC, with so many independent radio stations,i was introduced to all new composers and styles of world music, punk, and beyond. Check out these great programs currently playing tracks from " The Nature Series " Ep. Each one of these programs is very different from one another and is a great way to discover amazing artists you have not heard before.

Sun Radio
Monthly music program in Zurich Switzerland by Charles Blass. He mixes jazz, experimental, global, folk, electronic, funk and hybrid fusions in his shows.
The New Edge
Weekly Radio Program in Cambridge MA hosted by Ken Field. The New Edge features 2 hours each week of mostly instrumental creative new music, composed and improvised at the intersection of classical, jazz, and world styles
The Undercurrent
The Undercurrent is a blog/radio show focused mainly on post-hardcore/punk/emo along with noise, math, and sludge.
Monday Nights 8pm-10pm EST



DC Jazz Loft


News | ‘Strung out’ at the D.C. Jazz Loft this coming Sunday: killer guitarists and a bass master

Click for hi-res version.

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Another month, another lofty locale for CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft. This time we’re back in the U Street Corridor, at the popular restaurant and bar Marvin on 14th Street. We’ll be presenting three bands upstairs in the new, cozy lounge area.

The space has a full bar and great acoustics. And most importantly, some amazing talent will hit the (makeshift) stage. We’re featuring two of the area’s top guitarists, and a fabulous bassist who just released a debut CD featuring some of the world’s best musicians. If you don’t know the names of the performers below, this is your chance to get hip to a handful of D.C.’s most adventurous rising talents.

As usual, we suggest a $15 donation to the musicians, but no one will be turned away if they can’t give that much. Come out and support this fiery music, before things get too cold to do anything but hibernate.


The bassist Blake Meister has for years been one of the strongest sidemen on the D.C. and Baltimore scenes, supporting a range of musicians from the Jolley Brothers to Warren Wolf. But it wasn’t until his debut album, Septagon, arrived earlier this year that we recognized his subtle kinetics as a composer. His songs have wit, soul and an organic-sounding complexity that only a master can pull off. And it doesn’t hurt that the backing band includes some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Gary Thomas on saxophone, Ralph Peterson on drums and Marc Copland on piano. Meister, who was recently named a faculty member at the prestigious Peabody Institute, will lead a combo at the loft.


The guitarist Rodney Richardson, with his warm tone and flurrying runs, was in mid-climb to the top of the D.C. jazz scene when life uprooted him earlier this year. He moved to Chicago in June, leaving behind a disappointed crowd of fellow musicians and fans who’d grown accustomed to watching him shine. Luckily, Richardson is back in his hometown for the holidays, and we’ve booked him at the loft with his longtime partner in crime, the powerful trumpeter Joe Herrera. Don’t miss their quartet at the loft.


John Lee is another one of those ascendant guitarists on the D.C. scene, but he comes from a different perspective. Gritty, searing and heroic, Lee’s obvious influences are John McLaughlin and Jimi Hendrix – not straight-ahead players like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green (although they’re definitely in there too). Lee burned the house down at last month’s loft, playing with fusion/funk/trip-hop experimentalists the Oscillators. For December’s show, we invited him back to play his own charged-up material. 


The Nature Series Coming Soon (live show only sales)



After a long period of sitting patiently in a corner. The Nature Series EP is will soon be ready to venture out into the world. The EP is comprised of 3 epic tunes broken into 5 tracks  that go everywhere from cowboys on surf boards to the continuing journey of the frog sagas. Written in short period of time and recorded in 2010, this work represents some of my best recorded works to date. Many musicians participated in this project including my core trio at the time. (Brandon Kalber on Bass, Bruce Guttridge on Drums).  
Hard Copies of The Nature Series EP will be available by the Dec 9th Jazz Loft  Show for price TBA. It may not be online for a while so this would be a good chance to grab a copy.


Back from Brasil!



Just keeping you up to date with my current musical ongoings.

Im recording more material, for my album which will now be full length.

Playing lots of Bluegrass festivals with The Nate Leath Group.

@ Jojos Every Tuesday 8pm in DC, except for May 1st and May 22nd

@ The Otterhouse in Fredericksburg VA every Weds at 9pm except for April 25th and May 23rd

J.L.e Shows

April 29th  Bossa DC $5, 9pm

May 19th  Fat Tuesdays Fairfax VA 9:30pm

June 22nd National Sculpture Garden 5:30pm with Matt Rippetoe and JOhn Dearth

Cyro Baptista and Beat the Donkey Shows

May 22nd and 23rd at the 92nd St Y, New York, NY



Dates in April



Every Tuesday @ JoJOs DC 8pm to midnight with the John Lee Trio

Every Weds @ The Otterhouse Fredericksburg VA with The Say What Again Trio

Sunday April 29 @ Bossa Bistro Lounge 9pm (All original Lee Tunes)


Dates in March


Cyro Baptista Shows

March 15th The Falcon, Marlboro NY

March 16th Philadelphia Art Museum

March 17th Littlefield, Brooklyn NY

JOJOs Tuesday shows

March 6th

March 20th

March 27th

Otterhouse Tuesday Say What Again Shows

March 7th

March 21st

March 28th


Whats Happening Now


Every Tuesday at JoJos Washington DC

Every Wednesday The Otterhouse Fredericksburg VA

JLE openining for JLB Friday Feb 17th at Rock and Roll Hotel DC

The Nature Series EP getting mixed this month by Justin Phelps

In the Studio with Nate Leath (Violinist for David Grisman) all next week

In the Studio with Brian Marsella at the end of the month

3 shows with Cyro Baptista in March

3/15 The Falcon in Marlborogh NY

3/16 Philadelphia Art Museum

3/17 Littlefield in Brooklyn NY


Every Wednesday in Fredericksburg!

Upcoming and Ongoing


Im looking forward to some great shows coming up playing with Caveman. We will be opening for Mago (MMW side project) & Wicked Knee. On Nov 30th in Philadelphia at The Blockley, and Dec 1st @ Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Cyro Batpista will be joining us for the New York Show. After  that i will be doing a short run of shows in Nashville with the John Lee Experience with Bruce Guttridge on Drums and Gary Grainger on Bass. Starting Mon Dec 5th at Douglas Corner Cafe. Tues Dec 6th Early Show @ The Basement.  More Dates TBA..

Also Im still working on my next record and i have recorded about half of it. I will need money to complete this please donate here.




This Weds at Atlas Performing Arts Center


This Wednesday I will have the pleasure of performing with some of my favorite Jazz musicians. We will be performing original jazz music by Tom Baldwin, Tony Martucci, and myself. Come down and Support!!

Tony Martucci Quintet

Jazz at the Atlas

Tony Martucci
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Tickets on sale now!

Tony Martucci (drums)
Jeff Antoniuk (tenor saxophones)
Luis Hernandez (tenor saxophones)
John Lee (guitar)
Tom Baldwin (bass)

Tony Martucci brings original drumming style to the Atlas in a performance that showcases his deep understanding of the jazz tradition. No stranger to Washington audiences, Martucci is a skilled accompanist and a having played and recorded with several well-known jazz artists including Mose Allison, Joe Henderson and Sonny Stitt. He currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and has recorded two studio albums, one of which, Earthtones, was listed as one of the top ten favorite recordings of 1990 by the critics of Jazz Times Magazine. Music Monthly wrote that, “Martucci’s drum set magic is rich in detail and ambience…”

Get tickets to Tony Martucci Quintet


osyrus fest this weekend!

Masada Marthon at Lincoln Center Oprah House


John will be performing with Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits in the John Zorn Masada Marathon on March 30th Website

Written in a flash of creativity during three months in late 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zorn's Book of Angels contain some of his most lyrical and inspiring music. Performed by a wide variety of ensembles over the past seven years, the music has generated 17 CD recordings to date, with three more scheduled for release in 2011. This special marathon concert brings together 12 different groups of wildly divergent backgrounds - jazz, rock, classical, world music, jam band, a cappella vocals and more - for one spectacular evening of music from this prolific songbook.

Featuring: Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, John Medeski, Secret Chiefs 3, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Sylvie Courvoisier, Trevor Dunn, and many others.

Masada Quartet
Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman
Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits
Medeski, Martin and Dunn
Bar Kokhba

Secret Chiefs 3
Erik Friedlander
The Dreamers
Uri Caine
Masada String Trio
Electric Masada

Wednesday, March 30 at 8pm
David H. Koch Theater


Caveman Shows January 2011


Caveman will be reuniting to play 2 shows this January. One with the original line up in Philadelphia opening for Grimace Federation and another in Baltimore with Jason Fraticelli on Bass.




New Album


John Lee's latest release "Somewhere Impossible to Find" is now available online for digital purchase.

To buy the album visit

All songs from the album are currently streaming on the website.



John Lee playing Osyrusfest 2010!


John Lee and The Experience are scheduled to rock Osyrusfest 2010 this year in PA!

Within this wonderful weekend of music, John Lee is scheduled to perform Friday June 11th at 9pm.

For more info and tickets go to


Working on a John Lee Tour in June!


We're planning a John Lee N2S (North to South) Tour in June! Stay tuned for more details and venues in the week to come! If you want John Lee to play a venue in YOUR neck of the hood, let us know!

Spread the word!


New Jersey show canceled


Due to powers beyond our control the Jackson, New Jersey show on Thursday April 29th has been canceled. Sorry Jersey!


John Lee opening two dates for the Disco Biscuits!


J.L.e. will be opening for the Disco Biscuits for TWO shows this month!

Friday April 16th in Richmond Va

Wednesday April 21st in Charlottesville Va

Tickets still available at - COME OUT AND SUPPORT!!!!



John Lee in Brooklyn!


Come support J.Le's first show in NYC!

10:30 to Midnight FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Lee Guitar

Steve Zerlin Bass

Bruce Guttridge Drums

Special Guest Brian Marsella on Keys



Article on John Lee in Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star today


Check out the interview with John in the weekender section today, by Jonas Beals. Photo by Erika Horn.




Be sure to tune in to Activate! on WRIR 97.3 fm Wednesday night Feb. 17th 7-9pm with Mike Rutz to hear music from John Lee's debut album "Somewhere Impossible to Find!" You can also listen at

Also, those attending the shows at The Otter House in Fredericksburg Friday Feb. 12th and The Camel in Richmond on Friday Feb. 19th will be able to purchase cds for $10.






Look for an article and photo on John Lee in this week's weekender section of the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, out Thursday Feb. 11, 2010. You should also be able to see it posted online at on Thursday.

Don't miss the show at The Otter House in Fredericksburg this Friday Feb. 12 at 10pm!

Thanks, Free-Lance Star!




Welcome to the new John Lee website, home of your favorite Chinese Irishman & his music. It's been a long time coming, but finally it's here! You can check out dates for John's upcoming performances, listen to/download/buy music, see videos, check out the photos in the gallery, and get to know John Lee (if you don't know him already.) Thanks to everyone for all the love and support throughout the years! Now go spread the word:

  has arrived!


You Tube Channel


John Lee Videos. Old and New.


Upcoming Event: John Lee in Fredericksburg this Saturday


Check the calendar everyone - this Saturday Nov. 28th John will be performing various pieces, including his original music at The Otter House in FredericksburgShow around 10 pm.