Jaret Landon is a composer/arranger, music director, and educator. He’s composed and arranged music for film, musicals, and recorded albums. Chicago theater credits include Nativity and Sanctified (Congo Square Theatre), Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Gospel of Lovingkindness and Wonder in My Soul (Victory Gardens Theatre), Gem of the Ocean (Court Theatre), Crowns (Goodman Theatre), The Christians (Steppenwolf Theatre), Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children’s Theatre). Other Regional credits include 15th-anniversary new production of Crowns (Co-Production - McCarter Theatre and Long Warf Theatre) Black Odyssey (Denver Theatre Center, Denver CO.), First Wives Club (Pre-Broadway production - Chicago), Born For This (Pre-Broadway production - Los Angeles), Motown The Musical (1st National Tour - Oriental Theater Chicago, IL), The Christians, Wonder In My Soul (Baltimore Center Stage), The Black Clown (American Repertory Theatre).
In December of 2014, Landon partnered with the Aids Foundation of Chicago to produce Celebrating the Holiday With Friends, featuring nationally known recording artist and actors - Tweet, Donald Lawrence, Pauletta Washington, E.Faye Butler, Felicia Fields, and a host of other phenomenal talent. This concert featured all original arrangements by Mr. Landon and proceeds were used to raise awareness and broaden the reach of Chicago-land testing facilities for HIV/AIDS.
In 2016, Landon also produced a sold-out intimate concert series, premiering his arrangements of songs by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and Pete Seeger.
From 2014-2016 Landon served as assistant orchestrator for Fox TV's Emmy-award-winning American Idol.
In June 2017, Landon presented workshop performances of his English-language Opera entitled Strange Land in Chicago, IL. This opera tells stories of African American men who were victims of racial profiling, racism, and systemic injustices. Taking a look at the past and examining the events of the present, it leads audiences on a journey from hopelessness to awareness, inspiration, love and light. Embracing the rich culture of Black Music (spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, house music, and hip-hop) and combining elements of classical music.
In July 2017, Landon lost his mom after a courageous fight with cancer and in November 2017, lost his grandfather. To continue their legacies, and the legacy of his previously deceased maternal grandmother, Landon began building an Arts Center in his hometown of Fort Meade, FL. The Fort Meade Arts Center (FMAC) is designed to provide learning experiences and opportunities with awell-rounded and multi-faceted artistic, entrepreneurial, and musical environment to community members of all ages in Fort Meade, FL and surrounding cities.
In December 2017, Landon collaborated with Platinum-Selling Recording artist Tyler the Creator to Music Direct and Arrange music for his NPR Tiny Desk Performance, which in one of the highest viewed performances from the series, garnering over 8 million views on YouTube.
2019 Upcoming Projects Include:
The Pursuit of Happyness, a new Broadway musical with collaborators Marcus Garvey (book), Harvey Mason (co-music), and Siedah Garrett (lyrics)
The Dispute - A short film produced by FACEBOOK, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Theater in Salt Lake City, UT
Strange Land - Workshop Presentation of English-language Opera by Jaret Landon - Chicago, IL.
Selected Press Quotes:
A blend of gospel, blues, traditional Christmas tunes with hints of African rhythms, Jaret Landon’s deeply felt music raises the spirits of the season. We hear favorites like “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” Silent Night,” “We Three Kings’ and “Go Tell it on the Mountain” with sparkling blues-orientated arrangements. This 90 minute song fest is an engrossing holiday treat rich in originality from an African-American tradition. It’ll lift your spirits. - Chicago Critic
The selections by Jaret Landon are soul-rousing and seemingly tailored to the singing talents of the cast. The moment the piano played I felt that I was ‘back in the day’. - Chicago Theater Beat
Under the musical direction of Jaret Landon, "Nativity" has never sounded better these past 12 years.- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
Sly, funny, sexy and poignant, "Ain't Misbehavin'" is an altogether splendid homage wonderfully realized by music director Jaret Landon - Daily Herald
Where the The Christians succeeds is in its extraordinary music. Under the music direction of Jaret Landon, the on-stage gospel choir will rock you to the core even if you’re a bone-atheist. - Chicago Theater Beat
BORN FOR THIS
Music Director, Conductor, and Main Keyboardist Jaret Landon rocks the house with the 30-song score, making it difficult to believe there are only seven musicians in the orchestra. - Broadway World
THE BLACK CLOWN
The show’s most searing moment was a devastating rendition of the spiritual “Motherless Child” (arranged by Landon) that flickered to life after one of the darkest tableaux. As the ensemble processed into the aisle, the voices gradually joined in, interweaving and striving upward. During the long standing ovation that followed, an audience member leapt to her feet, waving her program in the air. - Boston Globe