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John Nicholas Oliva


1978-1983 Avatar (USA) - vocals, guitars (as Jon Oliva)  
1980-1981 Savatage - bass (as Jon Oliva)  
1983-1992 Savatage - vocals, piano (as Jon Oliva)  
1986-2002 Savatage - keyboards (as Jon Oliva)  
1991 Savatage - drums (as Jon Oliva)  
1992- Doctor Butcher - vocals, bass, keyboards (as Jon Oliva)  
1993- Trans-Siberian Orchestra - vocals, backing vocals, piano, keyboards, bass, composer (as Jon Oliva)  
1994 Savatage - guitars, bass, drums (as Jon Oliva)  
1994-2002 Savatage - vocals, piano (as Jon Oliva)  
2003- Jon Oliva's Pain - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2012- Oliva - vocals, guitars (as Jon Oliva)  
2014- Savatage - vocals, keyboards (as Jon Oliva)  

Guest musician

1992 Darklin Reach - keyboards (as Jon Oliva)  
2001 Rough Silk - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2002 Seven Witches - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2003 Circle II Circle - vocals, keyboards (as Jon Oliva)  
2005 Chris Caffery - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2010 Avantasia - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2010 Soulspell - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2010 Kamelot - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2010 Dreamtone & Iris Mavraki's Neverland - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2012 Elvenking - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  
2012 The Hourglass - vocals, keyboards (as Jon Oliva)  
2014 Xthirt13n - voice (as Jon Oliva)  
2014 Dawn Of Destiny - vocals (as Jon Oliva)  

Personal information

Also known as: Jon Oliva
Born on: 22.07.1960
Official website

Early life

Jon and Criss's family moved around a lot during their childhood, living in California for four years until moving to Florida with his family in 1976. Much like his brother Criss, Jon found music his calling during the family's time in California. Starting off with his father's piano, Jon dabbled in guitars, pianos and drums before buying "a really ugly bass". Jon and Criss continued their musical exploits and played a block party, playing Kiss, Deep Purple and ZZ Top covers. Although originally the guitar player of the brothers, Jon quickly realized Criss's talent was superior to his and stuck to singing and swapped with his brother and played bass.

Having been kicked out of high school in 1978, Jon needed a job, and was lucky enough to join a band called Metropolis, a band playing Bad Company and Alice Cooper cover songs. This gave Jon his first touring experience as the band played bars and clubs in various parts of Florida, but Jon quickly grew tired of the bars and clubs, leaving the band later that year.

Jon and Criss re-united to form Avatar, out of their two most recent bands, Alien and Tower respectively. Avatar would later become Savatage. Earning the envy of most other Floridan bands due to their "awesome equipment", Avatar was originally a five-piece, with Jon on drums and vocals, and Criss on guitar. The band slowly drifted apart until Jon and Criss remained, and the two got jobs at "The Pit", a practice shack where they met Steve Wacholz. Wacholz was very familiar with the Oliva brothers, who he first met in 1977. He saw Criss play at a local high school and was blown away. Very soon after, he auditioned for Jon's band, Alien. When he got to the audition, Wacholz recognized Criss and Jon as part of the band who had impressed him so much at the high school show. Steve would eventually join a new version of Avatar, joined later by bass player Keith Collins, who originally knew the band as they hired his equipment. Jon felt restrained by playing instruments and subsequently stuck to being the band's lead vocalist.

Avatar initially received exposure via a free Tampa Bay music publication called Music Magazine, who recommended the band to Tampa radio station WYNF, who were holding a contest for a spot on an LP. Avatar opened both sides of the LP with tracks "Rock Me" and "Minus Love". WYNF also gave the fledgling band concerts. In late 2006, footage was released onto the internet of an early performance by Avatar at a gig in a Clearwater, FL parking lot and was prominent in featuring an early version of the song "Holocaust", which would later be released on Savatage's first album and a cover of Van Halen's "Eruption" and VH's version of "You Really Got Me". Avatar's rising local stardom enabled them to record an LP with Par Records. An initial EP, entitled City Beneath the Surface sold 1000 copies, and Par Records invited Avatar back to the studio to record a full album. However, there was an issue with a European band called Avatar who disagreed to the usage of the name, and the band needed to find a solution and fast, as the album was due to be pressed the following day. Jon and Criss were playing cards with their wives when they got a phone call and after initial tweaking, they finally arrived at Savatage. That full album was Sirens, the first Savatage record.