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Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Jon Kanis

P.O. Box 84653, San Diego, CA 92138
619.794.6469 [mobile]

Jon Kanis is an award-winning author and Grammy-nominated musician and producer who has traveled the world over entertaining folks from San Diego to Amsterdam — from Cusco to Tibet. With 30+ years of experience as a musician and mobile DJ, Jon can masterfully spin any tune out of the Top 40 from 1955 through 2017 (and beyond) from his 150,000+ song library. He is also an expert musicologist; a journalist whose work has been featured in MOJO, UGLY THINGS, The San Diego Troubadour and The San Diego Reader (to name but a few publications). Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Jon has spent the last 34 years calling San Diego, California his home. He loves to travel, meet new people and relishes a good creative challenge. If you require the highest level of professional service then you have come to the right place…

Credits and Employment History

Musician / Artist / Writer / Disc Jockey 1983–present
State Controlled Radio [Producer, Host] 2006–2011
Reelin’ in the Years Productions [Producer, Director, Vice President, Archivist] 1999–2005
Tarot Readings / Counseling 1995–present
Thompsonian Empire Advertising [Production Manager] 1996–1997

Industry Qualifications

Author of Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture & the Alchemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Producer & Host of 240 weekly three-hour radio programs [State Controlled Radio].
Producer & Director of The American Folk Blues Festival Volumes 1-3 DVD/CDs.
Producer of Soul To Soul DVD/CD.
Producer & Director of five short films on the history of American Rhythm & Blues that are on permanent exhibition at The Stax Museum Of American Soul Music in Memphis, Tennessee.
As a Musician has performed over 650 gigs in the past twenty years.
Musician, Composer & Producer for dozens of commercially released recordings.
Participant in several group exhibitions with multi-media visual artwork.

Industry Awards

Winner of Best Published Non-Fiction—History and Biography Award from the San Diego Book Awards for Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture & the Alchemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Winner of the Keeping The Blues Alive Achievement In Film Award from The Blues Foundation for The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 Volumes One & Two [2004].
Grammy nomination from The Recording Academy (R.I.A.A.) for Best Long Form Music Video for The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 Volume One [2004].
Honorable Mention from MOJO Magazine Music Awards for The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 Volume One [2004].
Winner of Best Music Anthology DVD Award from DVD Entertainment Awards for The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969 Volume Three [2005].
Winner of Best Compilation/Collection Of Clips Award from the Home Media Retailing Awards for The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969 Volume Three [2005].


University of California, Berkeley, CA

Technical Equipment

Proficient in GarageBand with a working knowledge of all non-linear audio and video digital platforms [Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro]. Microsoft Word, Excel, Quick Books Pro.

Other Skills and Additional Information

As a musician, artist and professional representative Jon Kanis has traveled extensively throughout the world with a dozen excursions abroad including ten trips to Europe, thirty treks across the continental United States as well as spending a month in Tibet and a fortnight in Peru & Bolivia. To appreciate the full range of his life experiences you are encouraged to peruse The Gig List, a comprehensive chronological listing of every significant public performance that Jon has either witnessed as an audience member or has performed as a musician, artist, actor or production crew member.


Liz Abbott, Publisher, The San Diego Troubadour
Grant Brickner, Owner, Complete Music
Henry Diltz, Photographer
Jeff Severson, Producer, JSP Productions



Licenses & Permits

Basic Driving (PLG), Motorcycle


And…if you are seeking evidence of who to hire as your mobile disc jockey for your next celebratory function then you are invited to download these PDF play lists containing 13,000 titles of the most classic PARTY music ever made from the past 80 years. Music for any mood to satisfy everyone at your party regardless of their generation. The secret to hosting a successful party is to have the right DJ/MC to unite everyone around classic sounds that creates an intimate vibe. With more than than twenty years as a mobile DJ Jon Kanis is an absolute master in the art of celebration. Allow him to design the soundtrack that guarantees a splendid time for everyone.

You are invited to look Jon up on Facebook or to explore his art work and other ideas on his tumblr page. If you would care to sample some of his original music there are over a dozen tracks that are currently available for FREE download at SoundCloud. Jon is listed on the Gig Salad website.

San Diego Troubadour review of Fundamentalism Is the Only Way LP

Check out Terry Roland’s superb review of FUNDAMENTALISM IS THE ONLY WAY HERE!


Visit the new Jon Kanis On-Line Store!


Fundamentalism Is the Only Way performed live this Friday, December 2nd at Grassroots Oasis!



Fundamentalism Is the Only Way San Diego Album Release Party 12.02.16

Regardless of the cultural climate, it is always a supreme delight when you encounter an artist, or a piece of work, that has the ability to simultaneously grab you by the throat, pull on your heart strings, stimulate your third eye, and stoke your imagination—all the while compelling, and insisting that you pay attention to the sonic splendor being cast into your ears and brain.

And so it is with the multi-faceted, 21st century Renaissance man Jon Kanis—a visionary artist who is clearly in a zone of his own. Eluding all attempts at musical categorization (particularly by the standards employed by today’s hype-saturated media), Kanis exists outside the box and off the charts as the perfect antidote to mainstream mediocrity. And (just in time for the holidays!) he’s back to infuse his multi-faceted brilliance into his latest long-player Fundamentalism Is the Only Way: a 14-song, old school conceptual romp, providing ample evidence within that here is a unique point of view to reckon with. Fundamentalism Is the Only Way offers a true musical alternative, and it ups the vibrational ante in extreme contrast to the syndicated pay-to-players glutting the stagnant airwaves of contemporary terrestrial radio.

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way picks up where 2014’s career-retrospective All-American Mongrel Boy leaves off. Executed over a period of two years, Kanis co-produced the album with Christopher Hoffee (Atom Orr, Truckee Brothers, The White Buffalo) at his CHAOS Recorders studio in Escondido, California. The record was conceived of by Kanis to be experienced “like a classic British Beatles LP: with seven songs per side on a slab of 180-gram vinyl. It really has a deliberate flow and arc to the songs, with one track building upon the next, so that by the end of the record you really feel like you’ve taken a journey—that the music transported you to a place that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Because, if a piece of music doesn’t transform your experience in some significant fashion, why would you waste 40 minutes of your precious time?”

Reviewing the LP for the San Diego Troubadour, Terry Roland writes: “[Kanis is] a clear-eyed example of an artist with a vision, who builds on his own rock heritage… Fundamentalism Is the Only Way is a masterfully conceived slice of rock ‘n’ roll psychedelia, fused with power-pop rock that is dedicated to present-day consciousness. It is a signature work, and if this album is given the chance to shine into the dark world of current rock music, it will bring a very bright light as one of the best rock albums of 2016.”

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way will be performed live in its entirety by a five-piece band that includes the aforementioned Hoffee on guitar, keyboards and vocals; Jamie Shadowlight on violin; Roger Morrison on bass, guitar, and vocals; Brad Smith on drums; and Kanis on acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals. Kanis says “there will also be a couple of surprise guests, but I can’t say more than that at the moment.” The release party/performance takes place on December 2nd, 2016, at the Grass Roots Oasis, 3130 Moore Street, San Diego, CA 92110. Doors open at 7:30 pm with music from 8 to 10 pm. Donation/cover charge is $10.00.

Kanis’ resume reads like a graduate thesis for a pop culture professorship: his initial stabs at pop music stardom found him collaborating with such distinguished stalwarts as Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Andy Partridge, Joe Satriani, Dethklok, the Assumptions), and Darian Sahanaja and Nick Walusko (Wondermints, Brian Wilson). As a radio host and DJ he produced hundreds of weekly radio programs between 2006 and 2011 titled State Controlled Radio, which serve as a timeless primer to the history of 20th century music. Between 1999 and 2005 he co-created the world’s largest music film archive with Reelin’ in the Years Productions. It was at RITY that Kanis won the Achievement in Film award from the Blues Foundation, as well as a Grammy nomination for his production work on The American Folk Blues Festival DVDs and CDs.

In 2014, Kanis’ first book Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture & the Alchemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll earned the honor of Best Published Nonfiction—History and Biography from the San Diego Book Awards. Kanis is an expert musicologist and journalist, whose work has been featured in Ugly Things, the San Diego Troubadour and the San Diego Reader. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Kanis has spent the last 34 years calling San Diego, California his home.

Kanis has created three different art installations with his singular style of pop culture collage, with his latest piece Keeping Your Eyes on the Pies currently on display at Sicilian Thing Pizza, 4046 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104.

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way is the fourth in a series of projects that Kanis has collaborated on with executive producer Ed Turner of Road Ahead Productions. This highly successful association began when Kanis provided narration and original music for the independent documentary A Box Full of Rocks: the El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs. The far more ambitious follow-up Ticket to Write: the Golden Age of Rock Music Journalism, provides historical context about why the early days of Crawdaddy!, CREEM, Circus, Rolling Stone, and the New Musical Express were so vital to the emerging rock culture of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Kanis contributed three original songs for the film’s soundtrack, provided cinematography, and interviewed seven of the film’s principles. Kanis recounts his entire adventure in Chapter 30 of Encyclopedia Walking (Mystery, Murder, Mayhem, and Magic: Ecstatic and Overstimulated at SXSW 2014). His 18-song anthology All-American Mongrel Boy (1989–2014) provides the perfect soundtrack to the musings and adventures of Encyclopedia Walking, described by Terry Roland as a “to-the-bone, walk-the-talk work of literature that informs and transforms…it is essential reading along with the works of Lester Bangs and Paul Williams.”

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way is available on December 2, 2016, through MJK Records/Road Ahead Productions.

Executive Producer: Edward Turner, Road Ahead Productions

Press inquiries: contact Jon Kanis at or 619.794.6469.





Track Listing For All-American Mongrel Boy + A Box Full Of Rocks

All-American Mongrel Boy (1989-2014)
Jon Kanis

1. Where Is Joe Strummer When You Need Him? (3:12)
2. Welcome Home (2:40)
3. Arlington (2:42)
4. Through These Eyes (with Liv Mueller) (2:12)
5. It Is & It Isn’t (with the Shambles) (4:05)
6. Walk Without Me (4:55)
7. That (5:49)
8. Follow Up (2:33)
9. Dweller On The Threshold (4:41)
10. Holiday Motel (2:17)
11. A.C. In Michigan (4:22)
12. The Sun (4:24)
13. The Colorist (4:37)
14. Make It (4:18)
15. Real Gone (4:05)
16. Think It Over (4:03)
17. The Past Is Not Made To Last (Who Loves Ya, Baby?) (2:39)
18. The Return Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (Albert Hofmann Mix) (3:21)

A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Various Artists (2014)

1. Let It Blurt/Jon Kanis (3:46)
2. Where Is The Poet Christ?/Running/The Flying Sandolini (3:12)
3. Pain Of Being White/Thee Dark Ages (1:53)
4. Please Candle With Hair/Robert Williams (4:11)
5. LB, Stick To Your Guns/Thee Dark Ages (4:14)
6. It Is & It Isn’t/Jon Kanis & the Shambles (4:05)
7. Do You Ride The Bus Alone?/The Flying Sandolini (2:24)
8. A Box Full Of Rocks Part 1/Jon Kanis (6:46)
9. El Cajon Blues/Jack Gimble (3:48)
10. They Call Us The Goons/Thee Dark Ages (3:26)
11. Machine Gun/The Flying Sandolini (3:19)
12. Heaven’s Devils/Thee Dark Ages (2:44)
13. A Box Full Of Rocks Part 2/Jon Kanis & The Flying Sandolini (4:09)
14. I Can’t Turn Down/Thee Dark Ages (2:52)
15. Dark Ages Jam Tonight/Thee Dark Ages (3:18)

Cabalistic Dispatch (2005)
Jon Kanis

1. Invocation (1:18)
2. Don’t Stand There (3:36)
3. Forget (That I Even Mentioned It) (4:19)
4. The Colorist (4:33)
5. Think It Over (remake version) (3:53)
6. Fear (3:30)
7. A.C. In Michigan (4:20)
8. The Sun (4:54)
9. Everything Remains (6:11)
10. Butterfly (3:41)
11. Questions For A Swami (3:17)
12. Make It (4:13)
13. Real Gone (4:05)
14. Give (5:08)
15. That (6:08)
16. Shine On (3:02)
17. Lay Your Life On The Table (5:10)
18. The Return Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (8:32)


Order All-American Mongrel Boy CD NOW!

Hi there everybody! Hot off the press are copies of my latest CD ALL-AMERICAN MONGREL BOY (1989-2014). This anthology collects work from the past 25 years and presents a comprehensive overview to the recording history of yours truly. There are 18 songs on the disc with 6 BRAND NEW previously unreleased songs, as well as selections from the Walk Without Me EP (never before available on compact disc), the A Pair Of Opposites EP, and the double LP Cabalistic Dispatch. Three of the songs were written & recorded at the Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Order your copy right now by clicking on the PAYPAL links below. The cost is $16 US, with SHIPPING INCLUDED to anywhere in the United States. If you are overseas I can figure out the additional shipping costs. If you prefer to pay by personal check or cash you can request copies of the CD by sending your contact information and making checks out to Jon Kanis at PO Box 84653, San Diego, CA 92138. Please allow two-to-three weeks for delivery.

ALSO available are copies of the soundtrack to the original feature length documentary A Box Full Of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs. I have four tracks on the CD including an inspired remake of Lester’s song “Let It Blurt.” The 15-song disc includes 6 original songs by Thee Dark Ages (the El Cajon band that Lester would frequently jam with), written by and featuring Jerry Raney (of Beat Farmers notoriety). Also included on the disc are contributions by Robert Williams (Captain Beefheart), Jack Gimble, and the Flying Sandolini.

ALSO I still have a limited amount of copies of my 2005 CD Cabalistic Dispatch, recorded and produced with Mike Keneally. This is an epic piece of work that is sequenced like a double LP, comes with deluxe packaging including a 20-page booklet, and over 79 minutes of music. Cabalistic Dispatch is available for $20 US post-paid while supplies last.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT and stay tuned for the publication of my first book in August. It is entitled ENCYCLOPEDIA WALKING: Pop Culture and the Alchemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I will keep you posted with the details.

As always if you have any questions you can reach me at my email: I am also available via cell phone at 619.794.6469.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer! See you down the road…








Jon Kanis @ Sidecar, San Diego, CA 07.03.15

Jon Kanis @ Sidecar, San Diego, CA 07.03.15 9:15 PM—12:40 AM

This was super fun…thanks to Jesse, Matt, Sarah, Trish & Ryan and everyone who came out: Trish, Rob, Nick, Roger, Wayne, & FF…


1) The Waiting/Tom Petty
2) The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades/Timbuk 3
4) Strange Days/The Doors
5) Five O’Clock World/The Vogues
6) Night Moves/Bob Seger
8) Will You Be Ready?
9) Never Gonna Let It Go
10) Perfect Woman
11) She’s A Caveman
12) Visions Of Johanna/Bob Dylan
14) Young Americans/David Bowie


16) Light My Fire/The Doors
17) Tangled Up In Blue/Bob Dylan
19) Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy/Elton John
21) The Letter/Box Tops
24) White Rabbit/Jefferson Airplane
25) Squeeze Box/The Who
27) What A Wonderful World/Louis Armstrong
28) Beware of Darkness/George Harrison
30) Surrender/Cheap Trick


32) It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue/Bob Dylan
33) The Joker/Steve Miller
34) My Friend Jack/Brownsville Station
35) Melissa/Allman Brothers [broke & changed B string]
36) I Saw Her Standing There/The Beatles
37) Like A Rolling Stone/Bob Dylan
38) Lawyers, Guns & Money/Warren Zevon
39) Folsom Prison Blues/Johnny Cash
40) We Can Work It Out/The Beatles

Steel Bridge Songfest Performers CONFIRMED! June 11-14, 2015

For a list of all CONFIRMED artists performing in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin between June 11-14, 2015 go HERE…


The Bridge by Ty Helbach



Louise Goffin and Jon Kanis at Dizzy’s in San Diego TONIGHT!

Hey there friends and neighbors:

Come on out this evening for a fantastic night of music and story telling with the legendary Louise Goffin and Jon Kanis for one night only here in San Diego at Dizzy’s. The fun begins at 7:30 PM. Be sure to tell a friend…


The August edition of the San Diego Troubadour + upcoming Dizzy’s gig

The August edition of the San Diego Troubadour is available on stands right now and features two articles from yours truly: the cover story on local musical maverick and innovator RAFTER ROBERTS — as well an appreciation for the musical legacy of lyrical genius GERRY GOFFIN. The article Gerry Goffin: Beyond the Brill Building is included in my soon-to-be-published book Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture & the Alchemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Stay tuned for details…

Oh! also, on Thursday, September 18th, at 7:30 PM Jon Kanis is performing with Louise Goffin at Dizzy’s. For more information go to Dizzy’s website HERE.