John Nelson was born into a musical family; he is the fifth member within two generations to make his living playing and teaching music.
He began his formal training playing trumpet in a school orchestra when he was eight years old. At eleven he switched to guitar, a fifteen dollar pawn shop special his dad bought him, and sat in with his father's pick-up band that included members of Spade Cooley's and Frank Sinatra's bands.
While earning a degree in music from Occidental College during the day, he played evenings in various venues in the L.A. area sharpening his musical and performing skills. This trend continued during post-graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Mr. Nelson currently teaches music at Pasadena Christian School. He was past head of the music department at Grace Community School in Sun Valley for 16 years, and has lectured at Master's Seminary and Pepperdine University. He also taught at CalTech and Master's College, heading their guitar program for ten years.
He was one of the original members of the GraceBridge Band and toured internationally and recorded with Mary Rice Hopkins for over five years as her guitar, mandolin, and banjo player.
Mr. Nelson has also performed live in concert with Christopher Parkening, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Herb Pedersen, Leroy Mack, Todd Johnson, Jennifer York, Barry McGuire, and others.
He has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Music Center, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Opryland, McCabe's, the Autry Museum of the West, Disneyland, Knotts' Berry Farm and many churches across the country. John is regularly called for recording sessions, as well as TV and radio shows.
At the heart of his music and his teaching is his Christian faith and commitment to the Lord.
Mr. Nelson lives in Glendale, California with his wife, Linda; the couple has three married daughters and eleven grandchildren.