Jon Lackey and James Jelasic

James Jelasic and Jon Lackey established themselves as a recital duo when they first performed together in 1983 at the Blossom Music Festival, the summer residence of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.  The artists share a profound interest in performing and researching solo vocal music.  Their vast repertoire of English, French, German, Russian and Italian music includes the world’s most demanding literature – music that equally challenges both singer and pianist alike.

Tenor, Jon Lackey garners international acclaim for his appearances both on the solo recital stage and as a concert soloist with symphony orchestras.  His distinctive voice is a unique blend of both a helden and lyric tenor – a combination that has lead critics to refer to Mr. Lackey’s voice as having both “penetrating power” and “focused lyricism”.  Mr. Lackeys’ vocal prowess is due in great part to his study of the bel canto singing technique with his master teacher, Ilse Metternich, in Munich, Germany.

A native of Seattle, Mr. Lackey began his music studies at the age of ten and by the age of sixteen made his public debut as a tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah.  He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance on scholarship from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and did graduate music studies at both the University of Washington in Seattle and at Kent State University in Akron, Ohio.

Included among the many honors received by Mr. Lackey throughout his career was being the Top National Finalist in the prestigious National Federation of Music Clubs Voice Competition, scoring above all of the nearly 300 classically trained singers from throughout the United States.

Mr. Lackey’s extensive music career has included a full-time position as tenor soloist with the United States Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants in Washington, D.C., and positions as resident tenor soloist for prominent church congregations in Seattle; Washington, D.C., and Paris, France.

He has appeared as a guest artist with numerous symphony orchestras including L’Orchestre de Bordeaux, the Seattle Symphony, the Tacoma Symphony, the Arlington Symphony, the Williamsburg Symphonia, and the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic.  Mr. Lackey has appeared on stage in numerous prominent concert halls including Minneapolis Symphony Hall, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, the Hollywood Bowl, the Grand Ol’ Opry, and Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

He has taught on the music faculties of both Pacific Lutheran University and the Northern Virginia College.  Mr. Lackey continues his musical career as a tenor soloist, voice teacher and Minister of Music at Peace Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington.

Piano virtuoso, Fulbright Scholar and Steinway Artist, James Jelasic continues the rich musical heritage established by his maternal grandfather, Jan Nemec, a composer and playwright in Czechoslovakia in the early 1900s.  In the family tradition, Mr. Jelasic began his piano studies at the age of six and, at the age of nineteen, had twice been featured as a concerto soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Jelasic, a native of Dearborn, Michigan, received his early musical training at the Detroit Institute of Musical Arts, his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance on full scholarship from Eastern Michigan University, and his Master of Music degree in Accompanying and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  He has also done advanced studies at Kent State University in Akron, Ohio, the Sorbonne in Paris and at Warwick University in Coventry, England.  Mr. Jelasic’s master teachers include such distinguished artists as Gordon Green of the Royal Academy of Music in London, England; Eugene Bossart in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Martin Katz in Boulder, Colorado and Akron, Ohio; and Leonard Hokenson in Augsburg, Germany.

Following a year in Munich, Mr. Jelasic then moved to Paris, having been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant to research the French mélodie with the internationally acclaimed baritone, Gérard Souzay.

Mr. Jelasic has received critical international acclaim for his appearances with numerous symphony orchestras and as a collaborative performer in concert recitals.  His recordings ( have garnered three semi-final GRAMMY® nominations and glowing critical reviews.

 While classically grounded, Mr. Jelasic’s musical interests extend to traditional American ballroom dance music. James Jelasic & His Dance Band have performed for hundreds of venues including an official Presidential Inaugural Ball.  In 2013, his recording of one of the complete Chopin Waltzes was included in the soundtrack in the French film, La Cage Doreé, directed by Ruben Alves and distributed worldwide by Pathé Films.

He has taught on the music faculty of Northern Virginia College.  Currently residing in metropolitan Seattle, Mr. Jelasic maintains a full schedule as a classical soloist, dance band leader, accompanist/vocal coach, piano tutor, recording artist and Minister of Music at St. James Episcopal in Kent, Washington.

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