Jonathan Campbell’s career is rooted in the decade (2000-2010) he spent in Beijing as a drummer, writer, promoter, agent and more actively bridging East and West. His writing has appeared in many media outlets and collections; his book, Red Rock: The Long Strange March of Chinese Rock and Roll, was published in 2011.
Since returning to Toronto in 2011, he has worked at many of Toronto’s major cultural institutions in communications, outreach and programming – Harbourfront Centre, Massey Hall/Roy Thomson Hall, Aga Khan Museum, TIFF – and was a 2018-2020 APAP Leadership Fellow. Good Kind Productions, which he co-founded in 2015 – a founding member of diverse-music presenter collective Polyphonic Ground – is devoted to finding innovative and creative ways to bridge gaps and encourage cross-cultural collaboration and understanding. GKP produced, from Feb 2015-May 2019, secret concerts under the banner of Sofar Sounds Toronto, and many other events.
As Small World Music’s Head of Programs, a role he has held since August, 2019, he oversees music-industry conference Global Toronto and eMERGEnce, the artist/professional development program for marginalised and under-represented newcomer, refugee, and emerging musicians.
Thoughts About Art and Community
Rooted in the idea that music's power is in its ability to break down barriers, Small World Music has long been active in bringing together the diverse communities that comprise our city. As demographics have shifted, we've proven ahead of the game on that front, but we still have much work ahead. We aim to "normalise" culturally-diverse music, musicians, and forms among all audiences, artists, and across the industry. The goal is to have our full music ecosystem sound like, represent, and be representative of our city.
Small World Music is not simply a presenter of culturally-diverse music with a two-decade history; we are dedicated to serving artists and communities under-represented in, and marginalised from, the "mainstream," through activities including partnerships, workshops, mentorship, promotion, and more. Through eMERGEnce, we offer professional skills development, networking, mentorship, information, and a counterbalance to the isolation felt by those living in "niche" music communities, or who are new to the city and still finding their way. Global Toronto aims to lift up the marginalised sectors of the music industry, gathering local, regional, domestic, and international professionals to create and strengthen connections and encourage collaboration and opportunities for those on all sides of the stage.
Campbell's work over the years, in Beijing, and in Toronto, mirrors exactly the kind of bridge-building activities in which SWM is engaged, striving to work with and for under-represented and marginalised artists and professionals in aid of moving the industry forward and bringing people together.