SPOTTISWOODE is an award-winning bandleader, singer-songwriter, scriptwriter and filmmaker. For the past two decades, the Anglo-American has been the frontman of the septet, Spottiswoode & His Enemies. The New Yorker refers to him as a “genius” and “downtown ringleader”. With the band, he has released seven acclaimed records, performed numerous Manhattan residencies, and toured extensively from SXSW and Lille Europe to Lincoln Center.
In addition to recording with his Enemies, Spottiswoode has released three solo albums and a duo collection. His songs have been featured in a wide variety of films and television shows. He has been nominated for multiple Independent Music Awards, the piano ballad, Chariot, earning him the prize for Best Adult Contemporary Song.
Spottiswoode’s music travels the gamut, drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Randy Newman and Jim Morrison. Still, he’s very much his own man. He “evokes real emotions, sometimes different ones in a single song” (Dan Reed, WXPN).
Two music videos Spottiswoode directed while at film school earned consecutive Student Emmys in Los Angeles. He later wrote and co-directed The Gentleman, a short film that played Slamdance and the BBC Short Film Festival before being picked up by the Independent Film Channel. Spottiswoode then went on to write several feature screenplays with the hope of directing them himself. However, he was too busy playing and recording with his band to fulfil the ambition. So he decided to write a musical instead!
Above Hell’s Kitchen, his rock opera loosely inspired by Mozart’s Don Giovanni, was first performed at a sold-out staged reading at Joe’s Pub in the New York Public Theater. It was then accepted by the highly competitive New York Musical Theatre Festival for six fully staged performances. Spottiswoode and his band won first prize for Best Orchestration. He has since written a slightly revised version set in London – Between The Angel And The Old Kent Road – as well as screenplay incarnations of both the New York and London stories.
By a very strange twist of fate, Spottiswoode’s dream of getting a feature script made recently turned into reality. His namesake, Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, Under Fire, Turner & Hooch) read two of Jonathan’s screenplays. Roger, who is no direct relation, liked them both. He decided to option Either Side Of Midnight, a lyrical tale of four colliding stories set in New York City over one Friday night. The film was shot in New York at the very end of 2019 and edited during lockdown. Roger and his producers are now looking for a distributor.
Encouraged by that success, Jonathan has kept writing – screenplays, pilots, even another musical. He continues to record and perform as well. Now based in London, Spottiswoode looks forward to touring solo in Europe later this year and also to a return to New York to plays some shows with his band.