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Jon Lee Keenan (Tenor)

Born: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The American tenor, Jon Lee Keenan, was influenced at a young age by his father, a classically trained woodwind player and jazz saxophonist, and became interested in a variety of music including classic rock concerts and bluegrass festivals. He began piano lessons at age 8 and was playing guitar by age 12. While in high school at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts, he played guitar for the all-star high school jazz band, founded an all-original 8-piece Rock/Ska band, and formed his love for classical music and classic jazz. He began to study voice, and quickly found himself serving as section leader of the Nevada all-state choir and receiving top scores in the Nevada State Solo and Ensemble vocal competition. He was asked to join the top collegiate chamber vocal ensemble while still in High School, leading him to continue his musical studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). At UNLV, he studied with professional tenor Mark Thomsen (Chicago Lyric, Metropolitan Opera) and Jazz Legend Joe Lano (Sinatra, Marilyn Horne, etc). He triple majored in Vocal Performance, Vocal Music Education, and Jazz Studies. After graduating from college in 2005, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue advanced study of Choral Conducting and Vocal Pedagogy in the Three Summer Masters Program at Cal State University, Los Angeles. He then went on to attend the University of Southern California, earning Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Vocal Arts.

In 2007, Jon Lee Keenan joined the Los Angeles Master Chorale where he has been a featured soloist at the Music Center in each season since joining the group, performing in a wide variety of vocal assignments including George Frideric Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Maria Theresa Mass, and the west coast premiere of Magnus Lindberg's Graffiti with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, singing under the batons of Grant Gershon, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. In 2015, he sang the demanding role of Evangelist in J.S. Bach's monumental St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) to great critical acclaim.

Jon Lee Keenan currently enjoys a variety of performing outlets in his home of Southern California and beyond. His recent engagements include singing A Sunbeam’s Architecture, an orchestral song cycle by Elliot Carter and E.E. Cummings with Southwest Chamber Music at RedCat, and playing the role of Tanzmeister in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos with the Pacific Opera Project. He currently resides in South Pasadena and remains active as a jazz bassist in addition to his busy vocal schedule. He currently lives in South Pasadena, California.

"Proved himself ready for prime time, with a clear, sweet, high voice." - San Francisco Classical Voice

Source: Jon Lee Keenan Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2016)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Eliza Rubenstein


Video: BWV 36 [2015], BWV 232 [2015]

Ruben Valenzuela


Member of Bach Collegium San Diego:
BWV 153

Links to other Sites

Jon Lee Keenan - Tenor (Official Website)
Jon Lee Keenan on Facebook


Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 07:20