Chuck Jonkey

“Adventures of a Musical Nomad”


Wednesday, January 29, 2014



huck Jonkey shares his exotic adventure to faraway places in search of tribal music, art and customs. His exotic adventures have taken him to the furthest reaches of primitive worlds in search of adventure among the world’s most isolated tribal groups. He has explored the deep Amazon and the rainforests of Thailand, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, and Mexico. Chuck’s travels have also taken him to West Africa, Borneo, French Polynesia, Morocco, Venezuela, Russia, China, India and many other countries. He has documented his travels with amazing footage, photos, and recordings of his expeditions. Referred to as an "ethnomusicianthropologist" Chuck owns Sonic Safari Music and has produced over 110 CDs of exciting and rare tribal music.


Chuck has also produced several TV shows and documentaries. He is the host of "Exotic Worlds" TV show ( that has aired around the world. He hosted the "Sonic Safari" radio show on KCSN. Chuck has given many audio/visual presentations to universities, schools, churches, other civic groups, and the Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club of which he is a member. Chuck performed with the Manhattan Transfer on their CD "The Offbeat of Avenues" (they recorded one of his songs - "The Quietude"). The same song was re-recorded with a full orchestra on the Manhattan Transfer's new Cd "The Symphony Sessions". He was invited by RAVI SHANKAR to play with him at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.


Jonkey's music has been featured in feature films & TV shows such as "Rambo 4", "In The Mix", "Survivors", "Proof of Life", "Flubber", "J.F.K.", "The Doors", "The Mighty Joe Young", "Heaven on Earth", "Travel Channel", "The Film That Never Was" and many more. He has worked with Danny Elfman, James Horner, Ron Jones, Steven James Taylor and other film composers. "Travel Channel" aired a segment on Chuck as part of their "Amazing Vacation Videos" series. "Animal Planet" featured Chuck's exotic animal footage. Chuck composed several hundred musical pieces for MICROSOFT's software products. He has a massive collection of musical instruments from around the globe including: gamelan orchestras from Indonesia, African drums & percussion, exotic instruments from India, Nepal, China, Thailand, Mexico, Peru and many other countries. Amazonian log drums, Vietnamese dan bau, Gnawa sentir & clappers, Inca percussion, Afro-Peruvian quejada, Javanese angklung and lots, lots more. Chuck also makes many of his own instruments such as a glass marimba, multi-stringed toucan, balloon guitar, harp & drums... and many other strange sound generating devices.


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