Jeremy Cunningham is a drummer, composer, and improviser. Originally from Cincinnati, he moved to Chicago in 2009, where he currently performs and composes as an integral part of the city’s vibrant music scene.
As a teenager, Cunningham grew serious about performing music during his time with a jam band called “Ray’s Music Exchange.” There, he learned the intricacies of playing with a large group, and dove headlong into the jazz of the late 60s and early 70s. He holds a Bachelors of Music from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied with professor John Von Ohlen, whose zen, loose approach toward drumming continues to inform Cunningham’s technique today. Coltrane (and, by extension, Elvin Jones) is another huge influence; Cunningham cites an early introduction to “Live at Birdland” as a formative musical experience.
Since moving to Chicago, Cunningham has carved out a reputation for a sensitivity to the music, a distinctive touch on the cymbals, and an ability to create textures as a counterpoint to the soloist. He has performed with an impressive roster of luminaries such as Von Freeman, Chris Foreman, Jeff Parker, Mike Allemana, Marquis Hill, Caroline Davis, Nick Mazzarella, and Dave Miller. He can be heard on Marquis Hill's albums New Gospel and Sounds of the City, as well as Caroline Davis's Live, Work, Play. In addition to performing in clubs and festivals throughout Chicago, Cunningham also appears throughout the United States with various projects. He’s has toured internationally with IsWhat?!, the Moshier/Lebrun Collective, and Paul Giallorenzo's GitGo.