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. 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.
Since moving to Chicago, Cunningham has performed with an impressive roster of luminaries such as Von Freeman, Chris Foreman, Jeff Parker, Mike Allemana, Marquis Hill, and Nick Mazzarella. He can be heard on Marquis Hill's albums "New Gospel" and "Sounds of the City," as well as Nick Mazzarella’s Meridian Trio recording “Triangulum.” In addition to performing in clubs and festivals throughout Chicago, Cunningham also appears throughout the United States with various projects. He has toured internationally with IsWhat?!, the Moshier/Lebrun Collective, and Paul Giallorenzo's GitGo.
Most recently, Cunningham earned a Masters in Music from DePaul University, where he studied with Dana Hall, and he has been working regularly with Meridian Trio, a collaborative effort with Nick Mazzarella and Matt Ulery. He also released his first album as a bandleader, re: dawn (from far). The album, out on ears&eyes Records, was recorded with some of Cunningham’s closest colleagues and mentors: Jeff Parker, Josh Johnson, and Matt Ulery. New City Music described that album as “the kind of bravura storytelling and image-painting only the tightest, most simpatico ensembles can pull off.” The band has been gaining notoriety for their highly evocative performances that are rooted in the rich language of Chicago improvised music. They have performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Umbrella Music series at the Hungry Brain, and internationally as part of the improvised series at Casa del Popolo in Montreal.
"He's very sensitive, yet a wonderfully powerful drummer as needed. He tastefully drives, and provides a sound heartbeat for the section..." —Marquis Hill
“bristles with infectious grooves...” -Neil Tesser, JAZZIZ
"Cunningham has proved himself a nimble and versatile figure in a variety of mainstream and cutting-edge jazz ensembles.” Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
"re: dawn (from far) is a strong debut from Cunningham and one can only hope that he will be able to keep this group together. They have something special going on. They play a type of modern jazz that is both emotional and intellectual, traditional and modern. In the hands of these musicians, the future of jazz is safe and sound.”-Jakob Baekgaard, All About Jazz