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Jonathan Godfrey

Adjunct Professor of Guitar


A teacher's purpose is not to praise, rebuke, or interfere - it is to guide.

-Jonathan Godfrey

Music Building - 132


Dr. Jonathan Godfrey is a concert guitarist, session musician, and composer that has been described as “invitingly poetic” by the Boston Globe. He has been a soloist with The Florida Orchestra, the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra, the Pops Orchestra of Bradenton-Sarasota, the State College of Florida Symphonic band, the North Port Concert Band, the Choral Artists of Sarasota, the South Shore Symphony Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and members of the Sarasota, Jacksonville, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. Artists he has shared the stage with include Bernadette Peters, Byron Stripling, and the New York Cantors. He has been a repeat guest lecturer at the Guitar Foundation of America International Festival and Competition and has recorded solo works for the Education Embassy of Spain and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

As a composer, Godfrey is the grand prize-winner of the 2010 Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition and was an honorable mention in the 2019 and 2021 Austin Classical Guitar Society Ensemble Composition Competitions. Among his most recent novel commissions are his “Okeechobee Concerto” for plectrum banjo and orchestra, and “Florida Man” for bluegrass banjo and guitar ensemble. His music has been featured at international venues such as the Manuel Enriquez Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva (Mexico City) and Serbia's Guitar Art World Festival.

A first-call session musician for numerous studios and ensembles in South Florida’s vibrant entertainment industry, Godfrey has been in the local orchestras of several equity national tours and has performed in numerous regional equity theater productions. In 2021 he was selected to originate the guitar, mandolin, and dobro book for the world-premier run of "Knoxville" by legendary Broadway composer/lyricist duo Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. He has done extensive work with Norwegian Creative Studios and is the lead guitarist in longtime Sarasota Latin/Jazz music-scene staple Big Night Out. He can be seen regularly as the bandleader for Parrish United Methodist Church and as half of the Corda Voce duo alongside his wife, soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey (

Godfrey is a prize-winner of the 13th Annual Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America (Indiana University), the 2010 Indianapolis Musicale Matinee Graduate Strings Competition, and the 2010 National Association of Arts and Letters Competition (Bloomington chapter). His guitar teachers include Ernesto Bitetti, Jason Vieaux, Philip Snyder, and John Huston, while his composition teachers include Aaron Travers, P.Q. Phan, Paul Schoenfeld, and Lee Johnson.


  • Doctor of Music, Indiana University
  • Master of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Bachelor of Music, LaGrange College