A writer, radio DJ (CHMA and KCMU [now KEXP]), drummer, and more, Jonathan Campbell moved to Beijing, China in 2000, after receiving his Master’s in International Studies (China) from the University of Washington. There, he quickly became immersed in Beijing’s nascent arts scene as an observer, chronicler, musician, and independent promoter-and-then-some under the banner of YGTwo Productions (洋鬼摇滚).
In Beijing, he was actively engaged at bridging East and West, playing in bands, putting on shows writing for local/international media, oraganising tours of China for overseas bands, bringing Chinese bands to the West, working for several Chinese music festivals, speaking to industry professionals in China and at international conferences, and more.
His book, Red Rock: The Long, Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll, was released internationally in late 2011, and he contributed to the 2013 collection Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China, as well as to several guidebooks, while writing for international media outlets including The Atlantic, CBC Music, LA Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, National Post, Exclaim!, NOW, Paste, Toronto Star, South China Morning Post, Wire and more.
Since moving back to Toronto in late 2010, he has worked in programming, presentation, outreach and communications roles at and with some of Toronto’s most important cultural institutions: Aga Khan Museum, Massey Hall/Roy Thomson Hall, Harbourfront Centre, TIFF, Luminato Festival, and others.
He co-founded presenter/producer Good Kind Productions in 2015, which, in addition to working with partners including the City of Toronto, the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area and more, produced Sofar Sounds Toronto from 2015-2019.
Campbell was part of Cohort IV of the APAP Leadership Fellows Program (2018-20) and, since August 2019, has been Head of Programs at Small World Music, a presenter of diverse musical talent from around the world. His responsibilities include leading eMERGEnce, SWM’s Artist Development program for under-served and marginalised emerging, newcomer, refugee musicians; and the showcase/conference Global Toronto.