Jeremey Poparad is a guitarist, bassist, composer, educator, and recording engineer in the Northeast Ohio area. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Akron with bachelor's degrees in jazz studies and music composition and a 2018 graduate of Cleveland State University with master's degrees electric guitar performance and music composition.
As a performer, Jeremey regularly appears with jazz and rock groups as well as classical ensembles and in musical theatre pit orchestras. He performs regularly for Playhouse Square and Cleveland Playhouse productions, at the Canton Players Guild Theatre, with the Dave Banks Big Band, the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, the NEO Sound Orchestra, the Jeremey Poparad jazz trio, and leads and composes music for the progressive rock band Axon-Neuron. Upcoming performances are listed on the 'Gigs' page.
As an educator, he teaches privately and as an adjunct professor at Ashland University and has published transcriptions and lessons through Premier Guitar magazine and Mel Bay Publications ("Ben Monder Compositions, Volume 1").
As an active composer, Jeremey writes for numerous ensembles that he performs in. He also writes for and performs on an 8-string electric guitar, which extends the range of a standard electric guitar an octave lower. As both and electric guitarist and a fan of classical music, Jeremey is an advocate for the electric guitar as a serious instrument in the classical idiom, and works to compose and perform chamber music for the instrument.
Lastly, Jeremey is also a recording engineer and the proprietor of Popemobile Studios, focusing on mixing and mastering audio recordings, video editing, as well as mobile audio capture. Visit popemobilestudios.com for more info.
At the tender age of 9, Jeremey attended a school band concert of 5th grade students butchering classic folk songs arranged in block chord harmony. As the sounds bounced from the walls of the elementary school gymnasium, and bounced, and bounced, and bounced some more, eventually washing over him, his fascination and curiosity built. "To imagine," thought the young Jeremey, "I could do that; I could have control over the force of nature that is music!" (14 years later, Jeremey is still trying to figure out how to control it, seemingly to no avail) The young musician's journey began the following year when he picked up the trumpet. After many years of wrangling with the instrument, usually losing to it, Jeremey's attention was driven to the guitar.
At the age of 15, the rebellion gene, present predominantly in teenagers, whispered into his ear that guitar would be a good thing to learn. Intent on upgrading from his vintage air guitar, Jeremey purchased a cost-effective acoustic guitar that played like a small, portable torture device. Despite this innate difficulty, Jeremey poured hours every day into playing the steel-stringed beast, learning campfire versions of Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden songs. Jeremey then joined the high school jazz band on both trumpet and guitar (usually not performing both at the same time) and learned quality arrangements of songs from legendary jazz musicians such as James Brown, Carlos Santana, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Sting.
Fate soon intervened again for young Jeremey, and during a routine visit to Borders, Jeremey was compelled to purchase "Blues Dues" by Joe Pass. When he gave that album a listen, he knew that it meant something. He knew that there was something deeper going on. He knew that this album was important. He hadn't the foggiest idea why, but he knew. The collection of jazz music began to grow, and Jeremey knew that jazz was a style he wanted to learn (power chord rock songs were getting kind of easy to play at this point).
After high school, Jeremey entered college at the University of Akron to study music. He had a lot to learn, having just begun playing jazz within the previous year, but he was determined. Through hours and hours of toil and labor, Jeremey worked to get a handle on this new and exotic style. Fatefully, one day a fellow student approached him in the hallway and asked the pivotal question: "Do you play bass?" Jeremey replied with "I suppose I could." Thus, the first bass gig was booked, and Jeremey's double career as a bassist (or is that career as a double bassist?) began.
Throughout the following
four five years of college, Jeremey began gigging frequently on both guitar and bass with many local musicians, some of questionable musical credentials, others of incredible musical inquisition, in both jazz groups and rock bands. He learned the nuanced art of wallpaper dinner music and repetitive three chord songs (oh, but what chords those three were!). In addition to the standard jazz pickup gigs, Jeremey kept his artistic flame alive in various original-repertoire ensembles of varying styles that regretfully were all short-lived.
In May of 2006, Jeremey graduated from the University of Akron with two music degrees, ready to take the world by the horns (and drums and pianos, if need be). He soon began working with original jazz and fusion groups, providing a new musical challenge in mixed meters and other modular mayhem. That summer Jeremey recorded his first full album of original compositions, which can be heard and downloaded on the "Listen" page. The album was a good first step into the process of writing and recording, but like many first steps, is not without its awkward stumbles and lilts.
In the spring of 2010, Jeremey made his first trip overseas to perform with the Paul Stranahan Trio and Red Side Visible at the 2010 FIMU Festival in Belfort, France, followed by a tour through Germany with the Paul Stranahan Trio. He learned how to say "I don't speak French" in French, and "I don't speak German" in German, but the inverse proved difficult to master and of very little practical conversational use. Being a vegetarian and a teetotaler, he somehow managed to survive weeks in Germany without starving to death or dying of dehydration. "Ein glasse un tasselwasser, mit eiss, danke!"
2011 saw the birth of Jeremey's pet project, Axon-Neuron, an all original progressive rock band. Taking all his favorite styles of music (jazz, rock, progressive music, metal, and classical), and putting them into a blender, he created a fertile sound that has thus far yielded three studio albums.
In 2016, Jeremey updated his bio and contemplated the potential mental impact of writing in the third person for extended periods of time. Upon further reflection, he concluded that anything he wrote using the article 'he' seemed to carry a greater weight, a more distinguished gravitas, while simultaneously dodging the issue of appearing pretentious to the reader. He decided that expanding this usage into daily conversation was worth experimenting.
This experiment in autobiographical writing led circuitously to grad school at Cleveland State University, where he graduated with two more music degrees, bringing the running total to four. It was at CSU that Jeremey discovered a latent love for orchestral double bass playing. After one ill-advised weekend with a dremel tool, he transformed his double bass with the power of the almighty C-extension and was now ready to take on the low, rumbly notes in symphonies and make his fellow section bassists giggle during each low D, Db, and C (Eb's proved insufficiently giggle-worthy).
Jeremey currently resides in Cuyahoga Falls with his family, Zuzu and Auron, and their three awesome cats: Tails, Axel, and Meowfina.
Jeremey was last seen on July 12, 2028, wandering the streets of Akron, talking to himself, about himself, in the third, and sometimes fourth, person.