Joe Jennings joined Chanticleer as a countertenor in 1983, and shortly thereafter assumed his current title of Music Director. Under his direction, Chanticleer has released 20 critically acclaimed recordings (works ranging from Gregorian chant to Renaissance masterworks to jazz), including the GRAMMYĆ Award-winning Colors of Love, and has performed at many of the world's most prestigious festivals and concert halls. Originally from Augusta, Georgia, Mr. Jennings earned his Master's degree in Conducting from Colorado State University at Fort Collins, and his Bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Piano from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
A prolific composer and arranger, Mr. Jennings has provided the group with some of its most popular repertoire, most notably spirituals, gospel music, and jazz standards. He has also composed for such ensembles as The San Francisco Girls Chorus, Phillip Brunelle's Plymouth Music Series, The GALA V Festival Chorus, The New York City Gay Men's Chorus, The Dale Warland Singers, The Phoenix Bach Choir, and the Los Angeles Vocal and Instrumental Ensemble. His compositions and arrangements are published by Oxford University Press, Hinshaw Music Company of Chapel Hill, North Carolina Hill and Yelton Rhodes Music, Los Angeles. Mr. Jennings' versatility has earned him many types of positions: lead singer/pianist with jazz ensembles; music director and pianist for churches, theater, children's theater and opera productions; guest conductor; professor; and director of clinical demonstrations and workshops. Most recently, he served as guest conductor for performances of the Estonia Philharmonic Chamber Choir. In addition to being Music Director of Chanticleer, Mr. Jennings also leads the Golden Gate Men's Chorus.