Jon Vezner Bio
Grammy award-winning songwriter, Nashville based, Jon Vezner is a tunesmith of rare sensitivity and dry wit. His catalogue of recorded songs, topped by the poignant “Where’ve You Been,” reflects his straight-to-the heart sensibility and emotional awareness. Vezner weaves the particulars of his own feelings with the lives of people he has known into universal themes that deeply touch listeners’ emotions.
Vezner was honored with a Grammy for “Best Country Song” and the Nashville Songwriters Association “Song of the Year” in 1990, for “Where’ve You Been”, the true story of Vezner’s grandparents, co-written with Don Henry, and recorded by Kathy Mattea. “Where’ve You Been” was also honored as “Song of the Year” by the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM).
Born in Minnesota, Jon Vezner began his musical career as lead singer and bassist in high school, going on to earn a B.A. degree in music education and music theory at Minnesota Southwest State University in the mid 70′s. Vezner’s preparation as a music educator was well earned, but songwriting was and remains his main interest, the next logical step in his career led him to Nashville in the 80′s.
Vezner attended his first Nashville Songwriter Association (NSAI) Spring Symposium, an intensive songwriting workshop in 1983. By 1984, Vezner began working with Ree Guyer of Wrensong Music, a music publishing company with offices in Minnesota and Nashville. Mel McDaniel and Dave and Sugar were the first to record his songs.
Jon’s catalogue of songs reads like a songbook itself, interpreted and recorded by the greats in the business as varied as the songs themselves; artists such as Martina McBride, Janis Ian, John Mellencamp, Nancy Griffith, Faith Hill, Clay Walker, Diamond Rio and Native American recording artist, Bill Miller. Other co-penned songs recorded by Kathy Mattea include “A Few Good Things Remain,” “Time Passes By,” “Whole Lotta Holes,” “Slow Boat,” “Who’s Gonna Know,” “All Roads to the River,” “The Innocent Years,” “Calling My Name,” “Trust Me,” and most recently the touching ballad “Ashes in the Wind.” Singles written by Vezner include “If I Didn’t Love You” by Steve Warriner, “Has Anybody Seen Amy” by John and Audrey Wiggins, “Then What” by Clay Walker, and “You’re Gone” by Diamond Rio.
Graduating with a B.A degree has also led to another labor of love, producing CD projects and earning a growing list of production credits with artists such as Danny O’Keefe, Victoria Shaw, and singing legend Patti Page.