From a very early age, Jason was surrounded by a wide variety of music spanning the rock, traditional, classical and jazz genres. Starting with drums in his early teens, Jason developed a passion for learning to play other instruments, moving on to guitar and then focusing on mastering the bouzouki. Described by some as one of the best proponents of new style Irish bouzouki playing in Canada, Jason first embraced the instrument while living in Ireland in the 1990s, and has contributed its unique sound to numerous traditional recordings.
Having made his first professional music appearance at 16, Jason has over 25 years experience performing locally, nationally and internationally. He has lived in Ireland and Bermuda and has traveled extensively. Over the years he has worked as a performer, composer, engineer and producer of recordings and live music projects. Through his studio, The Sound Solution, he has been involved in more than 40 CD projects and is often called upon as a session player for other artists. A founding member of iconic Newfoundland bands Connemara and The Punters, Jason has performed and recorded with some of Canada's foremost musical talents like: Roger Howse, Pamela Morgan, The Plankerdown Band, The Graham Wells Band, The 7 Deadly Sons, Great Big Sea, Seamus Creagh, Pierre Schryer, and many others.
You may contact Jason at email@example.com
For almost 20 years Jason has also worked in the telecommunications industry, having worked for Paragon, xwave, Aliant and Bell in Newfoundland, and Logic Communications, an ISP in Bermuda. He divides his time between his first love music, and his career in IT/Telecommunications. He holds the coveted Cisco CCIE designation, and an MBA from Memorial University of Newfoundland and works as a senior technical architect with Bell Canada where he builds enterprise data and voice networks for local and international companies. As a senior consultant, he is looked upon by many Canadian enterprise customers as a trusted adviser and subject matter expert. If he's not plugging in a guitar cable, it’s probably a fiber optic cable!
Jason has been an avid member of the Newfoundland music scene since 1990. At age 17, he started playing guitar with The Roger Howse Band, a mainstay of the blues scene in St John's, and Jason's guitar teacher of some years. Jason picked up guitar after years of drumming, having been a student of the late Don Wherry, a percussionist and teacher of great importance in the Newfoundland music scene. Shortly after he began playing Blues, he was drawn to the Irish and Newfoundland traditional music he grew up listening to. He played with a number of bands with schoolmates and new acquaintances until Connemara was formed with Glenn Hiscock and Tom Nemec in 1992. Jason played with the group until Sept. 1993 when he moved to Dublin Ireland to study audio engineering. He appears on the Connemara debut Cd, "The River". After returning from Ireland in 1994, he played with Fergus O'Byrne and Jim Joyce in the Damper Dogs, a folk trio who played extensively around the island for that year. In September of 1994, he joined The Plankerdown Band and toured the UK and Ireland with them on the Tip of the Iceberg Tour whish also included Ron Hynes, Great Big Sea and others.
Following the Plankerdown Band's end in early 1995, and a subsequent trip to Ireland, Jason and Larry Foley formed The Punters. Jason performed with the Punters until April 1997 when he left the band. He appears on the Self Titled Debut Album. After that time, he concentrated on studio work and has worked on some 20 or more projects since. He is also active as a solo performer and has occasionally backed up artists like Anita Best, and Pamela Morgan. He has filled in as a drummer on some occasions with bands like Shanneygannock and The Navigators. In April, 2002 he joined Great Big Sea as one of the back up band for the Juno Awards Television Show. He released his first solo album, "Blur" in 2003. Also in 2003 he performed on, and recorded the Newfoundland segment of the new Irish Traditional CD Island to Island featuring Seamus Creagh and Aidan Coffey, along with notable local musicians Graham Wells, Colin Carrigan, Billy Sutton and Paddy Mackey. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 he worked on some local CD productions as both session player and producer/engineer. He performed on Graham Well's solo CD release and toured with Graham and company to support the 2006 release locally and abroad. He plays regularly with Billy Sutton and others at private functions, festivals and regular sessions at Erin's Pub.
Fender 1962 Vintage re-issue Stratocaster.
Fender American Standard Stratocaster
Martin HD35 Acoustic Guitar
Santa Cruz DH Acoustic Guitar
Martin sp000-16 Acoustic Guitar
Taylor Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Joe Foley Bozouki
Roland V-Drum Custom Drums (updated 2006)
Premier Drums (Zildjian K Custom Cymbals)
Fender 5 String Electric Bass
Peavey/Tech 21 Amplifiers.
Line 6 TonePort/PodXT Live/Pod effects pedals.
Jason appears on the following releases...
Harry Martin: Visions of this Land
Arthur O'Brien: Self Titled
Gerard Hamilton : North by Northeast
Connemara: The River
Connemara: Near and Distant Shores
The Punters: Self Titled
Tickle Harbour: Battery Included
We Will Remain: Patriotic Songs of Newfoundland
Jason Whelan: Blur
Island to Island
Graham Wells Traditional Music from Newfoundland