Jason McCool comes from a long line of people who have been asked, “is that your real last name?!”
Originally from Brockton, MA, Jason holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (jazz trumpet performance) and the University of Maryland (historical musicology), and is presently completing a PhD dissertation in historical musicology at Boston University, titled “Radical Reclamations of America and Musico-Historical Resonance in Hamilton: An American Musical.”
Jason has been an Adjunct Professor of Music at Boston College since 2018, and has also taught at Boston University, Merrimack College, Montgomery College, Dean College, and the Art Institute of Washington. In Sept 2013, he began a PhD in musicology (after receiving a full-tuition Dean's Fellowship) at Boston University. He has presented conference papers at Boston University, UNH, UNC-Asheville, Maynooth University in Ireland, and Harvard University.
In April 2016, Jason began working as the Arts & Culture Liaison for AERONAUT in Somerville, MA, and was promoted to Head of Arts & Culture in April 2018. He books all live music and performance-based series including at AERONAUT’s taproom and its popular summer beer gardens in Allston and Arlington. In October 2017, he launched AERONAUT’s pindrop sessions, a monthly “classical-ish” performance series sponsored by public radio broadcasters WGBH and WCRB – read a feature article here – for which he curates some of the area’s top performers in immersive, conceptual events. In 2018, AERONAUT received the BEST OF BOSTON: 2018 Best Taproom Programming award from the Improper Bostonian. Here is a recent Boston Globe feature on Jason’s musical programming at AERONAUT Allston, including his launching, curating, and hosting of LA Live, a monthly live variety show featuring some of the top emerging artists in New England, and released as a podcast by the PRX Podcast Garage.
In October 2018, Jason was invited to be a Fellow at the prestigious Rubin Institute for Music Criticism at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with eight of the top music critics in America. He has contributed reviews for DC's Pink Line Project and the Boston Musical Intelligencer (see the writing tab below for more of his criticism).
Featured in Opus Affair's "10 Questions" interview series with Boston-area artists, Jason is proud to have been one of 50 Arts Leaders in Massachusetts to be invited to sit on the Mass Creative Leadership Council, on which he has served since 2015. He served as pre-concert lecturer for the Baltimore Symphony for 2013-14 from after standing up to deliver an impromptu lecture on Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 when the original lecturer didn’t show up. Early in his career, he worked as a Marketing Assistant at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
In June 2014, Jason founded Solas Nua in Boston, the first regional offshoot of Solas Nua, the only organization in the U.S. dedicated to contemporary Irish arts. SNIB was profiled in Dig Boston and on WGBH Radio, and was in residence at The Burren in Somerville, MA until November 2015.
Formerly a part of the vibrant artistic community of our nation's capitol, where he returns to throw themed parties, Jason’s theatre work includes: OMG, part of the 2010-11 Mead Theatre Lab Program, for which he received an individual artist grant from DC’s Cultural Development Corporation to co-write, produce, act in, and compose piano music; Solas Nua's SWAMPOODLE, a devised theatrical event which included development work in Ireland with Performance Corporation; and RIDING THE BULL, which he produced and acted in for the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival (Washington Post Editors' Pick; named "Best Male Actor" of Fringe, allarts4U).
Other favorite acting work includes the title role in Forum Theatre's THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT (DC Theatre Scene's 2008 “Audience Favorite Play”), Solas Nua's SCENES FROM THE BIG PICTURE (named by Peter Marks of the Washington Post as "One of the Top 10 Plays of the Decade"), THE RESISTABLE RISE OF ARTURO UI with Catalyst Theatre (winner, Helen Hayes Award, ensemble), and DANCING AT LUGHNASA at the T. Schreiber Studio in NYC. He has appeared with Studio, Folger, Everyman, and Rorschach Theatres, Theater J, Washington Shakespeare Co, and at the Kennedy Center. Jason studied acting with Mary Boyer at the T. Schreiber Studio in NYC and with Joy Zinoman, John Emmert, Denise Diggs, and Nancy Paris at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in DC, where he also took directing with Joy Zinoman, and has studied at Improv Boston. Jason is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association. He has served as the DC arts liaison for the Social Media Club of DC, and has consulted many arts organizations on social media. His travel blog can be found here.
His terrier Fenway, picked up from animal rescue on July 24, 2004, is a karmic champion. GO SOX.