|Jonathan “Jon” Dretto, Paul Reed Smith Guitars Artist and Ernie Ball Strings Endorser, is the hottest young player in Upstate, New York. The Jon Dretto Band plays Country-Rock.
|Jon Dretto - Guitar/Vocals
|Paul Reed Smith Guitars Artist, Jonathan, “Jon” Dretto, started playing guitar at age 8 and now at just 19, is the hottest young player in Upstate, New York. Jon's repertoire includes modern country and rock. His broad range of influences includes Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Michael Lee Firkins; classic Bluesmen like Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughn and country artists like Brad Paisley.
Beginning in the summer of 2010, Jon began playing in Upstate, New York area blues jams. He soon found he could hold his own with the “big boys” and as word got around, he became a frequent guest with several Rochester and Buffalo area bands. Jon has been a frequent on-stage guest of his friend and mentor, Chet Catallo, former Spyro Gyra guitarist and has performed with a number of well-known blues artists including Davy Knowles and the Nighthawks.
Jon’s middle school music teacher made him aware of an audition in June, 2012, at a Syracuse New York music store, for the opportunity to perform with the Paul Reed Smith company band, the Rocky Mountain Stoneflies, on the big stage at the Watkins Glen 2012 Grand Am. The audition was hosted by InTune Magazine and PRS Guitars. Jon took the top honors and was awarded a PRS guitar and amp. He performed to a crowd of 15,000 and describes it as “The best night of my life.”
After the event, Jon’s Dad-Manager, John, and PRS Management stayed in touch. Jack Higginbotham, PRS President, had expressed an interest in Jon, early on and Jon was signed as a PRS Artist in the summer of 2013. He uses PRS guitars and amplifiers exclusively and is working with the company to create greater awareness of the PRS brand, especially to younger players. At the time of his signing, at age 15, Jon was the youngest artist ever signed by a major American guitar company.
Jon stays very busy. He has performed at a number of New York State blues festivals, including four straight years at the Niagara Falls Blues Festival, countless club dates throughout New York, B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Boogie Bar in Nashville, plus clubs in Washington, D.C. He has traveled Canada extensively, including performing at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, for the 100th Grey Cup Gala. The Grey Cup is the Canadian equivalent of the American Super Bowl.
Late spring/early summer, 2017, will see the launch of the Country-Rock Jon Dretto Band. The four talented young musicians are currently in rehearsals.
Jon’s go-to guitars are a one-of-a-kind PRS Custom 24 with a solid rosewood neck, ebony fretboard and custom Satin Faded Whale Blue finish, a PRS 408MT Artist Model with a solid rosewood neck, ebony fret board, ebony trim, in Eriza Verde. Included in his stable is a PRS P22 with a figured maple 10 top, rosewood fret board, a PRS/LR Baggs piezo system in Black Gold. He also plays the new S2 Custom 24 solid body and the PRS Angeles Custom acoustic. Jon’s favorite amp is the PRS 2 Channel 100 watt Archon with one or two PRS 2x12 closed back cabinets. For smaller venues he uses the PRS Archon 25/50 watt all-tube combo, with a single 12” speaker. Jon is an Ernie Ball Strings Endorser and uses Cobalt Slinky 9-42 gauge strings on all his PRS electrics.
Jon’s first album, a six-song EP, was released July, 2014. It includes five original songs with music and lyrics by Jon.
Jon is attending a Rochester area college as a Music Performance Major on a full scholarship.
John S. Dretto