Mr. Jesse Nolan

Director of Education (MashPlant), Resident Music Director (Blue Man Group), Music & Theatre Teacher (K-12) at MashPlant Studio


Jesse is the Director of Education and Outreach for MashPlant Studio. In his capacity, Jesse serves as the chief evangelist for MashPlant’s mission, bringing years of experience as an educator and professional performing artist to help shape 21st century learning.

Jesse currently serves as a Resident Music Director and drummer for Blue Man Group and is currently on tour in the Mediterranean with their production aboard the Norwegian Epic cruise ship. Beginning in October 2013, he will move to the Blue Man Group North American Tour.

Jesse earned his Masters of Music in Jazz Studies/Percussion (2006) and his Bachelors of Music Education (2004) from the Indiana University Jacbos Schools of Music. Since graduation, Jesse has performed across the globe with the 50th Anniversary European Tour of “West Side Story” (2 Olivier Nominations), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (North American Tour w/ Ted Neeley), & Meet The Beetles.

Additionally, he has appeared as a a bandleader, drummer & percussionist at The North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, Steans Institute for Young Artists (Ravinia), North Texas/Addison Jazz Festival, Collegiate Band Directors National Conference, and the Elkhart & Elmhurst Jazz Festivals. His performances as a solo artist and with jazz luminaries James Moody, Allen Vizzutti, Lorraine Feather, David Baker, Bob Sheppard, Wessell Anderson, and Frank Glover have been favorably reviewed by the Chicago Tribune, Percussive Arts Magazine, & Nuvo (Indianapolis).

As a classical percussionist, Jesse has performed under the batons of Fred Fennell, Harry Begian, Michael Barrett, and Ray E. Cramer. He has appeared on numerous recordings, including “Carol of the Bells” (Owl Studios) by the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and “Virginia City Lounge” by Second Hand Poets.

As an educator, Jesse is currently the chair of Internet and Performance Jazz Programs for the Jazz Education Network. He has also has taught music for over 10 years in public and private schools, universities, and organizations to students ranging in age from 4-40. A multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, recording engineer and singer, Jesse draws on his diverse musical background and skill set to teach a wide range of musical classes including band, orchestra, choir, musical theatre, general music, songwriting and music technology. Between 2004-2006, he served as an Associate Instructor of Jazz Percussion at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Additionally, he has taught as a music teacher at Benet Academy (Lisle, IL), Wheaton North High School, Oak Park/River Forest High School, and Camp Jam (Chicago).

Jesse continues to be an in-demand clinician, appearing as a guest artist, adjudicator, and instructor at Anderson University, The University of North Carolina (Pembroke), Indiana University, IGSMA Jazz Festival, IMEA Festival, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Jesse is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team and proudly plays and endorses their products.

As a music director, Jesse has worked to produce music and create live events for corporations including The Intercontinental Hotel Group and State Farm Insurance. From 2011-2012, Jesse served as both a music director and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Chicago Fusion Theatre, 501(c)3. His commercial music credits includle jingle and short film music production for Banana Republic, Bergdorf-Goodman, & Holiday Inn.

I teach: Music, Theatre, Performing Arts, Drama, Creative Arts

To ages: 6 to 22+


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