Jeffrey Kowalkowski (b. 1967) is a Chicago composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He is a senior adjunct professor at DePaul University and also Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), and has a private studio at Access Contemporary Music (Chicago). In addition to organizing concerts of new music, he released a Trio album on New Atlantis Records (Yellow Springs, Ohio), with Harrison Bankhead (bass) and Avreeayl Ra (drums). He also conducted the 2016 North American Zither Gathering in Moline, Illinois, and he directed the Chicago Scratch Orchestra (2009-2014). He has participated in the Gaudeamus Festival (Netherlands) and also the Darmstdadt Fereinkurse (Germany).
Jeff is also a film composer, he has completed a feature documentary “Compass Cabaret 55” (2014), for Mark Siska Films. He also scored anthropologist Heinrich Hauser’s film “Chicago” (1930), to be performed with live musicians, for producer Hans Ulrich Werner (Offenbürg), and a piano solo score to be played with Charlie Chaplin’s “The Immigrant” (1917). He has been working with composer Frank Abbinanti on a series of works based on the 7 deadly sins, for two accordions, and other instrumentations. He produced the third album by The Crooked Mouth String Band, for Uvulittle Records (Madison, Wisconsin). Jeff has been involved with the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago since 1986.
In summer 2016, Jeff collaborated with composers Amnon Wolman, Gerhard Stäbler, and others (from 7 different countries) for a premier “Suchen” at Kilian’s Dome in Würzberg, Germany.
Jeff also completed multiple public sound installations at The Shedd Aquarium, the Fern Room at Lincoln Park Conservatory, and the DePaul Art Museum (Faculty Show).
For over twenty years Jeff has organized the New Music at the Green Mill concerts on the last Sunday of October.
Jeff and his wife Mary Decker (Chicago Public Librarian) live with their sons, who are both touring members of the Chicago Children’s Choir: Voice of Chicago and Dimensions.
The famous drummer and percussionist Tony Tabor was Jeff’s student at Northeastern Illinois University. Jeff has enjoyed teaching Piano, Music Theory, and Composition at House of Music on Wednesdays for almost a decade now!