On the Gratitude album, John plays sax for The Night We Met and The Sweet Spot, and Wurlitzer for Anything, and in live performances contributes his skills on guitar, keyboards, accordion, bass, and percussion as well. Born into a musical family of Irish immigrants in San Francisco, “Whooli” began playing clarinet at age 6, and attended the University of California Santa Cruz as a saxophone major, dabbling in opera, theatre, world music, and basketball. For 5 years, he toured and recorded with an avant garde gypsy jazz metal band, then met his wife Moriah. The two of them started a band, culminating in a cover photo of them in LA Weekly dressed in gold robot suits!
John has co-founded numerous bands, and played with the likes of Jack Johnson, ALO, and Les Claypool. In addition to his work with Vanaka, he leads a professional karaoke band and performs as a one-man-band with the aid of a “looping” machine. He enjoys life as a full-time musician, with his wife and kids, in Santa Barbara.