BM University of North Texas
Ryan Jacobi grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois. His love for music became apparent at a young age, as he was raised in a musical family. His passion for playing drumset and percussion was fostered by his intensive participation in the school band programs. Studies with Bret Sher, Bret Kuhn, Jerry Steinhilber, Tom Hipskind and Joel Spencer inspired him to pursue a career in music.
In 2003, Ryan moved to Denton, Texas to attend the University of North Texas. At UNT he performed and recorded with a variety of eclectic ensembles, including the 2:00 Lab Band, Steel Drum Band and Gamelan Ensemble. He studied privately with Ed Soph, Jose Aponte, Christopher Deane, Ed Smith and Paul Rennick. In 2008, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies.
Ryan performed regularly throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area with several bands including Corner Pocket, Ricki Derrick and Think Big and the Bulletproof Brass. From 2005-2010 he played drums in the rock band Oso Closo, which recorded two albums, toured extensively and starred in the 2008 Dallas Theater Center production of The Who’s Tommy. In 2010, he played in the Austin-based band Nelo, who toured often and recorded regularly at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio.
From 2010-2013, Ryan taught at Alliance Music Academy in Plano, First Baptist School of the Arts in McKinney and Prince of Peace Christian School in Carrollton. Ryan served as the percussion director at Prince of Peace, where he directed the drumline, percussion ensembles and jazz band. He initiated the Prince of Peace Night of Percussion, which became an annual favorite concert of the band program. In 2013, Ryan moved to Chicago. He currently works with the percussion programs at Mundelein High School and John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. He lives in Portage Park with his wife, Julie.