His passion for percussion took him all over the world touring in bands and playing to huge crowds.
He has two children, Joshua, 23, and Sarah, 12, who are both in America, and lives in Ashill in Mid Devon with wife Wendy (mother of superstar soul singer Joss Stone).
Together they run music venue and recording studio Mama Stone's in Exeter.
"I played the drums at church as a child," recalls Jonathan. "It was a black gospel choir and music made up around 70 per cent of the service so it was a big part of everyone's lives."
Over the years, as Jonathan's drumming skill and talent grew, he found it very easy to make the transition from gospel to jazz.
After attending the University of Miami School of Music, Jonathan formed and directed a modem jazz band which was called Decision.
He received his first break in the business when the band was engaged as an opening act for American jazz trumpet playerDizzy Gillespie, at Dizzy's 70th birthday party.
"In the 1980s music started to change a bit and jazz became more popular again," said Jonathan.
"Opportunities started to become available to me and I really enjoyed meeting people in the industry and collaborating with them.
Jonathan met Steve Rucker, an occasional drummer with the Bee Gees, and started having private lessons with him to improve.
Later while working as a freelance musician, Jonathan found himself on stage with nationally known artists including Stanley Turentine, Monty Alexander, Lou Donaldson and Mongo Santamaria.
"I decided that I had to live in New York for a bit," said Jonathan. "It was just the best place to be for work."
In 1988, Jonathan joined hands with steel drum great Othello Molineaux.
Together they toured the US promoting a CD entitled It's About Time which features Jonathan on six tracks.
In 1990, Jonathan stepped out of the jazz arena, and for the next three years entered the R'n'B circuit, touring extensively with Grammy award-winning vocalist Betty Wright and recording a CD entitled B-Attitudes. In 1993, Jonathan re-entered the jazz scene when he was asked to join jazz legend Josef Zawinul's band The Zawinul Syndicate.
In 1994, Jonathan began working with Latin jazz flute player Nestor Torres, and in 1995 joined contemporary jazz saxophonist David Sanborn.
Jonathan has also performed with guitarist Pat Metheny in The Pat Metheny Group on the Asian portion of the We Live Here Tour in October of 1995.
Between 1996 and 1998, Jonathan maintained a rigorous touring and recording schedule working with Al Jarreau, Mike Stern, Bill Evans and performing on a Grammy-winning album featuring Randy Brecker in the Fall of 1998.
"That was a real career highlight," said Jonathan. "I worked with all my idols."
Jonathan was asked to tour Asia with pop superstar Ricky Martin for the Vuelve tour and in 1999 he continued touring with Ricky Martin as a part of the Livin' La Vida Loca promotional tour.
"This was a commercially driven decision," revealed Jonathan. "I wanted to make a bit more money so went on the road for nine months.
"It was a great experience playing in a 15-piece band all over the world.
"The band didn't really spend much time with Ricky Martin.
"He only really came into practice then was whisked away again. Often music executives like to keep the star of the show away from everyone else so there are no other influences.
"The tour was sponsored by Pepsi so there was a lot of money behind it."
Jonathan continued his touring schedule with the contemporary jazz band Yellow Jackets, as well as performing with world-renowned bassist Richard Bona.
Jonathan then had a three-year hiatus.
"I wanted to stop travelling for a while," he said. "I needed to spend some time with my family."
However, Jonathan was not destined to live the quiet lifestyle for long. In 2003 he got a call from famous soul singer Betty Wright, and was head-hunted to be the musical director for the then sixteen-year-old singing sensation Joss Stone.
"When I met Joss I was absolutely blown away by her voice," he said. "I knew she was going to be a big star."
Jonathan went on to marry Joss' mother Wendy and the pair formed In Six Management and Production Ltd with his partner, in 2004.
"I decided I had had enough of being on tour," said Jonathan. "So Wendy and I decided that in order for us to remain in this part of the country we would need to create something from nothing.
"I thought Ashill would be a nice place to retire to. I like it as it's so chilled out."
The couple originally opened up the venue Mama Stone's in 2007 in Wellington, Somerset, but were forced to close due to licensing problems.
The venue reopened in Exeter in 2009.
"Business is doing well," said Jonathan. "We are now in a position where we can concentrate on the artist development side, which is my passion.
"Exeter is the perfect place for it as it is a bustling creative city.
"The feedback from local people has been tremendous, that is what spurs us on.
"The most important message for us is not about selling beer but adding to Exeter's community."
Mama Stone's now has several artists who have been training with them for a few years.
The music genres include blues, mainstream pop or jazz, soul, funk, rap and rock.
"People come to us with a talent and we work with them to get them to a marketable stage," said Jonathan. "We have people of all different ages who come to us, from 14 to 30 at the moment on our books, but there is no limit."
Two Mama Stone's artists who have making waves in the local music scene are Leigh Coleman and Adam Isaac.
Jonathan is very enthusiastic about their talents.
He said: "Leigh has an exceptional voice and is similar to Joss in the respect that you don't expect him to sing in that way, whereas Adam is starting to do really well with his album and his talented guitar playing.
"The surf brand Animal heard Adam's music and liked what he was doing so offered to sponsor him.
"We are looking for more opportunities like that for our other acts. Especially if a company feels they are reflected by a certain musician or artist."
Jonathan is pleased to finally be developing acts.
He said: "The best part of the job for me is to see the artists blossom. I don't feel like I have anything more to accomplish musically, so now I am happy to develop other singers.
"I get a joy from watching young people grow into themselves, their music and their voices. To be a part of that and to help them along the way is really rewarding."
For more information about vocal tuition at Mama Stone's call 01392 848485 or visit www.mamastones.com.