JESSE CLONINGER has performed throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Israel. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, where he was a member of the One O'Clock and Two O'Clock Lab Bands. In 2006 Cloninger toured with Maynard Ferguson and the Big Bop Nouveau, from 2008-10 he toured with the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, and recently played lead alto in the Doc Severinsen Orchestra. For the past 9 years he has been a woodwind artist with The Shedd Institute's two primary historic popular music projects: its classic Songbook festival, Oregon Festival of American Music, and its repertoire jazz ensemble, the Emerald City Jazz Kings. In addition to these groups, Jesse is an active performer throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Jesse has been the director of the Emerald City Jazz Kings since 2012 and assumed that role with Oregon Festival of American Music in 2015, and since 2009 has served as music director on numerous stand-alone projects both at The Shedd and beyond. He also teaches saxophone lessons and music fundamentals classes at Lane Community College.
In addition to performing and teaching, Cloninger is a busy arranger, which includes ongoing, extensive arranging for Oregon Festival of American Music and The Jazz Kings. Notable projects have focused on the music of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and the French music-hall songs made famous by Chevalier, Mistinguett, and Pilaf. Other projects include arranging music for cabaret shows covering the music of Billie Holiday, the music of Lorenz Hart, three different shows featuring Eugene vocalist Shirley Andress, and three shows featuring Eugene vocalist Siri Vik. Jesse lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife Idit and son Noam.