Music and Storytelling on Broadway

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Jesse-Ray Leich is a versatile drummer/percussionist, who received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Percussion from the University of Rhode Island in 2017. His credits are numerous and include performing as drummer/percussionist for the 2nd National Tour of the hit Broadway musical, Something Rotten!, and for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical from August 2019-March 2020. In 2022, Jesse-Ray made his Broadway debut drumming for the Jason Robert Brown musical, Mr. Saturday Night, starring Billy Crystal and Shoshana Bean at the Nederlander Theatre in NYC. The show had the opportunity to perform on the Today Show, as well as the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. Following Mr. Saturday Night’s closing, Jesse-Ray began drumming for the new Broadway musical KPOP at Circle in the Square Theatre. Currently, you can find Jesse-Ray subbing at Titanique, the Off-Broadway musical comedy, and the new hit Broadway show, & Juliet.

Nicholas Jemo, a native of Rhode Island, graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Rhode Island. He received his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2008, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Cecil Collins Award for excellence in brass performance. Since then, Jemo has held positions in the orchestras for the Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera and Bad Cinderella and performed with the Broadway productions of Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables, Evita, Mary Poppins, as well as the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. Outside of Broadway, Jemo has performed with the New York Philharmonic to audiences in the US and abroad as well as the Metropolitan Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Jemo has played with artists such as Lang Lang, Rufus Wainwright, Audra McDonald, and can also be heard on the first two seasons of the HBO series The Succession.

Leich and Jemo discuss how they made the transition from being URI Music majors to Broadway musicians and share some of their personal stories. Also performed are selections from the shows they have been part of, including The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, & Juliet, and Mr. Saturday Night.

This event was co-sponsored by the Kingston Chamber Music Festival. Check out the Kingston Chamber Music Festival’s press release about the event here.