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Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Jake Kelberman is a musician, composer, educator, and collaborator whose multi-faceted career reflects his diverse passions and belief in the importance of the arts in society. He has performed at venues and festivals throughout North America, South America and Europe. Jake was a finalist in both the Wilson Center Jazz Guitar Competition in Milwaukee, WI and the “Keep an Eye” Jazz Competition in Amsterdam, NL, and has performed in the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Montreux, Switzerland.
Jake has performed and recorded with artists including Wycliffe Gordon, Ulysses Owens Jr., Jim Snidero, Gerald Veasley, Walt Weiskopf, Deana Martin, Terell Stafford, Josh Lawrence, and Chelsea Reed. As a composer, Jake has been commissioned by the Philadelphia Jazz Project to write music inspired by the work of environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and has collaborated with choreographer Peter Chu, composing new music for works which have been performed by The Juilliard School, The Charlotte Ballet, Gibney Dance Company, and Giordano Dance Chicago, which was hailed as “an extraordinary original composition” by the Chicago Tribune. As a film composer, he has scored the independent short film by Nicholas Orris Buried Words about the experience of Aphasia and is included in the 2020 ASCAP/Columbia University Film Scoring Workshop Composer’s Spotlight, scoring the trailer for the 2020 Columbia University Film Festival.
Jake is currently a professor of jazz guitar and small ensemble director at Temple University in Philadelphia, and has worked as a teaching artist with universities and organizations including the EMESP Tom Jobim School (São Paulo, Brazil), The University of Belize (Belmopan, Belize), MusicAustral (Frutillar, Chile), Portland State University (Portland, OR), Regional Dance America National Choreography Intensive (Huntsville, TX), and West Virginia Wesleyan University (Buckhannon, WV). As an advocate for social change through music, he has worked with organizations including Concerts in Motion, Philadelphia Community Arts Network, West Park Cultural Center, and with El-Sistema inspired programs including The National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize and Harmony Program in New York. He was a Gluck Community Service Fellow at the Juilliard School and is a member of the Global Leaders Program 2020 Cohort, an “Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Teaching Artistry, Civic Leadership, and Organizational Management.” Jake holds an undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance and Political Science from Temple University, and a masters’ degree in Jazz Studies from the Juilliard School under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. He hopes to continue to collaborate with a wide range of artists and organizations, and to advocate for the essential role of the arts in civic life.
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