Jessica Blackwell completed her studies in 2009 at The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where she received a Graduate Performance Diploma. The previous year, she received her Master’s Degree in Performance/Pedagogy from Peabody, where she was a student of Pamela Frank and studied string pedagogy with Rebecca Henry. Blackwell received her Bachelor of Music in Performance in 2006 at Rice University, where she studied with Sergiu Luca.
Blackwell joined the Nashville Symphony in 2009. She has played with New World Symphony; the orchestras of Baltimore, San Antonio and Annapolis; and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, where she served as acting concertmaster. In addition to her role with the Nashville Symphony, Blackwell currently serves as a co-concertmaster for the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. Previously, Blackwell also served as a co-concertmaster for the Nashville Philharmonic.
She has been honored to be a guest performer with ALIAS Chamber Ensemble. Solo engagements include the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with members of the St. Louis Symphony, a performance of the Harrison Violin Concerto at Rice University, and solo performances with the Nashville Philharmonic. In 2017, she gave the world premiere of the Farrell Concerto for Violin & Chamber Orchestra with members of the Nashville Symphony.
Music festivals Blackwell has participated in include Tanglewood Music Festival, where she served as a concertmaster; Britten-Pears Programme in Aldeburgh, England; National Repertory Orchestra Festival; National Orchestral Institute; Bowdoin Music Festival; and ENCORE. She has also been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for several summers.
Blackwell is devoted to music outreach. She co-founded the Shepherd School Medical Outreach Team while she was a student at Rice, and in Baltimore she participated in several programs that brought music lessons to underprivileged parts of the community. She is currently active in the Nashville Symphony’s education and community engagement programs and is a faculty member in the Symphony’s Accelerando initiative.
Blackwell served as the vice president of the Middle Tennessee Suzuki Association from 2013-15. Previously, she was on the faculty of Peabody Conservatory’s Preparatory Program, and she now maintains a teaching studio at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where she has been an artist-teacher of violin since 2009.