Jacob Duncan’s musical path has been a fascinating one, consistently balancing a spiritual, intuitive inclination with a keen, educated intelligence; his ensemble playing is every bit as assured and sympathetic as his soloing is consistently risking and rewarding. Beginning on the alto sax at the age of eleven, he soon distinguished himself as the kid who could play. He graduated from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy…
played lead alto in the Yamaha Big Band while in high school, and won a music scholarship to the University of North Texas in Denton, where he was a member of Little Jack Melody and his Young Turks & the world-renowned One O’Clock Lab Band.
After graduation and reading way too much beat literature, Duncan flew to Lisbon on a one-way ticket with alto in tow, five hundred dollars, and very little else. Playing on street corners, French jazz clubs, hanging with musicians, hitchhiking or enjoying a peripatetic existence based upon the proverbial “kindness of strangers,” he survived and thrived in Europe.
On returning to the States, the siren call of New York got the better of him and he settled there for a time; a day gig at a coffee house kept him afloat while he played countless sessions, gigged endlessly at Nimrod’s and the Knitting Factory, and reassembled Liberation Prophecy as a sextet. Eventually frustrated by stress, rehearsal conflicts, and a consistent diet of Ramen noodles and bad poetry, a cruise ship tour of duty seemed like a solution.
Duncan traveled far and wide, from Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands…… to Ushuaia, Argentina (Tierra Del Fuego)…..
Since his return, he has become a father to an incredible boy, met some incredible musicians and artists, and has developed some great friendships.
Jacob makes music with many creative musicians like, Chris Fortner, Kris Eans, Mike Hyman, Carly Johnson, Jason Tiemann, Todd Hildreth, Harry Pickens, Chuck Marohnic, Amber Estes, Craig Wagner, John Goldsby, Dick Sisto, Chris Fitzgerald etc., and many artists from the visual, movement, and writing art forms.
It has also been a pleasure to have played or recorded with artists from Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Debbie Boone, The Louisville Orchestra to the Violent Femmes, Will Oldham, and Ben Sollee. Louisville has a thriving arts scene with many people that are invested in the foundation of the continuity of human expression.