John Mettam  - musician / composer

John Mettam

All Music Guide

Recent Work

Flying Home - playing the music of Benny Goodman a classic sextet performing Jazz and Swing hits from the 1930s and 1940s with an authentic look and sound.

Two new projects are featuring John's recent compositions:

The Soundbats, featuring Briggan Krauss on Alt Sax, Sean Moran on Guitar and John on Drums carries on the compositional twists and improv of th Downtown Music Scene.

"the Soundbats... pump out thorny, rock-fueled downtown-style jazz in a Tim Berne vein." - Time Out New York

The Micro Titans, featuring Briggan Krauss on Guitar, Laura Cromwell on Drums, and John on Bass is an all out progressive instrumental rocker!

Another exciting project is Bassoon, New Yorks premier instrumental Metal/Doom band featuring Stuart Popejoy on Bass/Keys, Sean Moran on Guitar, and John on Drums. Time Out New York had this to say about Bassoon -

"The power trio is one of Brooklyn’s heaviest and most challenging, bringing to mind a mixture of Melvins-style avant-sludge and daredevil ’70s fusion."

John has also been the percussionist for Marc Ribot's Film Noir Project performing re-arrangements of Henry Mancini (Touch of Evil), Andre Previn (Scene of the Crime) , Roy Budd (Get Carter), on the one hand; and John Lurie's Lounge Lizards, John Zorn, Rootless Cosmopolitans, and new noir by Marc Ribot on the other.

John Mettam grew up in a musical family in the Washington D.C. area, where he played the drums, guitar, bass, piano, and sang, performing with his two brothers in all-star family band The Mettams. He holds a B.M. in classical percussion from the University of Maryland and an M.M. in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music.

A versatile and energetic musician, John has toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan, and appears on over 30 recordings. He has worked with jazz greats Ran Blake and Herb Robertson, legendary New Music mavericks Bobby Previte, Mark Feldman, David Tronzo, Matt Darriau & Paradox Trio. In Boston, he founded the third stream improv group Third Ear, and upon moving to New York he was quickly snatched up by downtown legends EZ Pour Spout and Goats in Trees. His deep understanding of song structure, broad dynamic range and musicality have made John a natural choice for the many singer/songwriters he has worked with, including Dee Carstenson, Vicki Genfan, Melissa Sheehan, Cynthia Hopkins, and Broadway Diva Melissa Errico.

Production Credits
John has produced jingles for the Nickelodeon network, Saturday Night Live, and he has been a longtime collaborator of film composer John Davis, recording music for Miramax Films, HBO, and Lifetime Network as well as a host of indie films. He has recorded and produced albums by Melissa Sheehan, Alice Bierhorst, and Rockdove, among others, at his own Running Girl Studio in Brooklyn.

An avid transcriber and copyist, John has become the go-to guy for accurate and meticulous transcriptions and charts focusing on ease of reading and catering to the art of performance. He has created harts and scores for many great artists including: Starlight Orchestras, Marc Ribot, T-Bone Burnett, Elton John, Leon Russell, Gregg Allman, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Secret Sisters, Jeff Bridges, Neko Case, Karen Nelson, and many more. More info at:

John Mettam
photos: Larra Nebel