photo by Ann Marie Akin

contact Jess about private lessons, group lessons, or workshops* here.

*WORKSHOPS offered include:




Earning her first Suzuki teacher registration certificates under Michele Higa George (Chicago Suzuki Institute, 2012), Jess McIntosh grew her love for the violin from age 5 under one of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki's own students, Carol Waldvogel (Milwaukee, WI). Now with 25 years playing experience and twelve years private and group teaching experience, it is her highest hope to grow more goodness and beautiful hearts through teaching violin. 

Students appreciate that she specializes in connecting with young learners, demystifying bowing and rhythmic technique, and crossing over between classical and fiddle styles. 

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, pursuing a degree in Violin Performance under Nobuyoshi Yasuda. After one year as Concertmaster of the University Chamber Orchestra and first violinist in the University Symphony Orchestra, she relocated temporarily to Johnson City, Tennessee to study Appalachian history and American fiddle traditions (East Tennessee State University 2008-09). Upon return to Wisconsin, she continued in University Chamber orchestra, but shifted areas of study, earning a Bachelors of Social Work and Spanish and expanding her performance career in more traditional American fiddle settings. 

Since 2013 Jess has lived in Chicago, and now enters her sixth year as a teaching artist at the Old Town School of Folk Music. She teaches primarily young learners using the Suzuki Method, adding elements of traditional American music for enrichment. She is a staff artist at Augusta Heritage Center's American Vernacular Dance Week (West Virginia 2014, 2015, 2017), staff and teaching artist at Miles of Music Camp (New Hampshire 2014 and Boston 2017), and Suzuki enrichment clinician in the Midwest (2018). With gratitude to venerated mentors Hunter Berry, Sammy Lind, Roy Andrade, David Yates, Ed Snodderly, Daniel Boner, Sue Demel and many others, she has developed and released 2 albums of original material with her Chicago-based songwriting project, Joybird ( 

Jess tours internationally with Al Scorch (Bloodshot Records), has shared the stage with legendary artists Steve Earle, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Chance McCoy & Gil Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show), started country bands Big Sadie and Horseshoe Bender, and frequently collaborates with members of Chicago's Old Lazarus' Harp folk collective. Her original music has been featured in silent film series, How Do We Sing? and Great Smoky Mountain National Park documentary, Horace Kephart: His Life and Legacy. She was composer/co-lyricist for the play The Revel, which debuted with the House Theater Company of Chicago in 2015, multi-instrumentalist for their production of Hatfield & McCoy (2018), returns yearly as ensemble violinist for The House Theatre's The Nutcracker, and this year debuted as a multi-instrumentalist in the Chicago Children's Theatre production of Leo Lionni's Frederick.

© 2014 |  jess mcintosh

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