Originally from the Black Hills, Jessica Catron spent 20 years making music in Los Angeles, by way of Albuquerque, and then relocated to Missoula in the summer of 2013. She received a B.M. in Cello Performance from the University of New Mexico, studying with Pablo Casals pupil Joanna de Keyser. She received her M.F.A. in Cello Performance from the California Institute of the Arts, under the tutelage of both Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (Contemporary Cello Performance) and Dr. Rajeev Taranath (Hindustani Classical Music of North India). As supplementary study, her love of folk music lead her to study with Eugene Friesen (Berklee School of Music), David Baker (Indiana Univ), and Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas (Scottish Fiddle Camp). Throughout her higher education, Jessica was awarded full scholarships for music performance and study.
Jessica spent the majority of her professional life in Los Angeles where she worked as a freelance performing artist and educator. Some of her musical adventures include touring, performing, and/or recording with artists including Carla Bozulich (Geraldine Fibbers/Evangelista), Harold Budd, Nels Cline, Devotchka, The Eels, Fun., Trevor Hall, The Heavy, Eleni Mandell, Dave Matthews, Tim Meyers (One Republic), Alexi Murdoch, Sheila Nicholls, Linda Ronstadt, Spiritualized, James Tenney, Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Steve Vai, Vitamin String Quartet, VOCO, Scott Weiland, Emily Wells, The White Buffalo, and Wilco. Jessica has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show, the NBC Music Video Awards, KPFK's Global Village, KUSC's Arts Alive, and has been a soloist for films Mean Creek, The Strangers, The Covenant, and Levity.
As a teaching artist, Jessica worked for eight years as the lead cello mentor for YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) - a partnership of the Harmony Project and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. Through YOLA, she worked regularly with four youth orchestras, string ensembles, led fiddle and singing workshops, and had 32 cello students in group classes and private lessons five days per week. Her students have had the fortune of sitting beside LA Phil musicians in concert, backing up Stevie Wonder, Journey, and The Black Eyed Peas at the Hollywood Bowl, performing with Grace Potter and Sharon Stone on the Tonight Show, playing chamber music next to Condoleeza Rice, and traveling to the White House to play for Michelle Obama and Joshua Bell.
She was the first distinguished musical-artist-in-residence at the UCLA Hammer Museum, and has lead music workshops at the University of Auckland (NZ), Universidad de Bogota (Columbia), University of Nebraska (Omaha), Cornish College (Seattle), University of New Mexico (Albq), Lake Tahoe Unified (CA), Port Chester School District (NY), Community Music Works (RI), and the California State Summer School for the Arts (LA), among many others.
In Missoula, Jessica can be seen as a member of both the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Glacier Symphony. In addition to her full private teaching studio, she has subbed as a music teacher at Sussex School and for MCPS. Jessica plays in The Receptionists string duo, leads music workshops, founded and arranges music for the Cello Mafia, String Mafia and Viol Conspiracy, and writes music and sings with her avant-folk band Missincinatti.
Over the past several years, Jessica has been developing her most fulfilling projects to date - raising two young kids - with her sweetie, Jeremy. They love family game nights, snuggling, asking Google random factoids, making tacos, raising four hens and two cats, taking saunters in the woods, floating rivers, spending time with their extended family, and eating those donuts in Ravalli whenever possible.