Born in Berlin, Vermont, Jesse Irons has been praised by the Baltimore Sun as a “polished and sensitive” violinist, his performances “moving… with a perfect mix of passion and precision.” (Baltimore Magazine) He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory, serving as graduate assistant in chamber music. Upon realizing he had spent six unrecoverable years of his life living in Baltimore, Jesse immediately moved to Boston. He wears his Red Sox cap whenever the Yankees are in town and contemplates finishing his half-complete Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory. Jesse’s many wonderful teachers include Pamela Frank and Nicholas Kitchen.
A card-carrying chamber music fanatic, Jesse (in partnership with fellow Crier Jason) founded the Rivendell String Quartet, which had a nice little run, appearing in concert across the United States, as well as in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Singapore. When the Rivendell venture finally came to a close, Jesse concentrated on his own violin playing. He won a competition or two, performed in France, and subbed with the Baltimore Symphony, but Jesse felt a quartet-sized hole in his musical life – sure he was content to chip away at Brahms Concertos and Bach Fugues like a good little violinist, working towards fame and individual glory, but something was missing.
In an effort to reconnect to the fun of music-making, Jesse decided to explore music outside the classical mainstream. He participated in a workshop on the music and traditions of the Silk Road, which culminated in multiple performances with Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall. Great resume stuff, and inspiring music-making. Delving further into the improvisatory side of life, he worked with an experimental jazz string quartet and with (yet another) string quartet transcribing, reinventing, and performing music from throughout Asia for a Marco Polo-themed school presentation program. He recently appeared at Carnegie Hall with the Tres Americas Ensemble.
Jesse has decided that life is as good as the people you spend it with, and on that count is thrilled to be a member of A Far Cry. When he’s not playing violin, he’s usually sleeping. Quite the connoisseur of firm mattresses, Jesse estimates his sleep number to be up around 85 or 90. Jesse also enjoys unwinding by cooking elaborate meals for friends, particularly since his recent acquisition of a pasta machine – ask him about asparagus pesto ravioli!
(photo: Tatiana Daubek)