Jessica Ivry

Cellist, Vocalist, Teacher


I am classically trained (San Francisco Conservatory of Music; studied with Bonnie Hampton) and also play various genres including Balkan, Klezmer, Bluegrass, Jazz, and Pop. I love to sing. I love to sing and play the cello simultaneously. From 2004-2015  I played, sang, co-managed and promoted Real Vocal String Quartet, a world music string & vocal ensemble that pushed the string quartet boundaries. With RVSQ I performed at Stern Grove Festival opening for Kronos Quartet, toured overseas through the US State Department program, American Music Abroad, and was featured with a cover photo and article in Strings Magazine. We also recorded with Feist for her 2011 album, Metals, playing with her on the Tonight Show at the Coachella Music Festival.

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I have played for theater and dance, composing original scores and performing in new and classic works. I have performed in Death of a Salesman and The Bright River (A Traveling Jewish Theatre, San Francisco), A Little Night Music, The Last Five Years (A.C.T. San Francisco); The Orphan of Zhao (A.C.T. San Francisco & La Jolla Playhouse); An Audience with Meow Meow, Pericles: Prince of Tyre, and Figaro (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Post Street Theatre, SF).

stern-grove-6-150hI have also performed or recorded with musicians I admire including Taylor Mac, Jenny Lewis, Father John Misty, David J, Bauhaus, Feist, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Journey, Ty Seagull, Sic Alps, Mikal Cronin, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Mirah, Vienna Teng, Beats Antique, Beth Custer, and Amy X Nueburg. I recorded on Grammy nominated album, Blueprint of a Lady, for jazz vocalist, Neena Freelon.


No shows booked at the moment.



Cradle Song, written by Jessica Ivry, performed by The Ark Ensemble



Polka, written by Jessica Ivry, performed by Peoples Bizarre



Knotty Pine, written by David Byrne and David Longstreth, arranged by Jessica Ivry, performed by Real Vocal String Quartet



Joy fu Fritters, written by Jessica Ivry with arrangements by Dan Cantrell, performed by Peoples Bizarre



Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

My teaching experience is rich and varied, and I work with students from diverse backgrounds and with a range of music levels, ages and instruments. I have over 20 years of instructional experience in the classroom, with private students, as chamber music coach, orchestra conductor and in educational outreach workshops.

Currently I teach elementary music with a focus on strings in Oakland Unified School District. I also teach chamber ensembles from Classical to Jazz to original and arranged compositions at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA. Previous teaching positions include:

Piedmont Unified School District * Ross Valley School District, Fairfax and San Anselmo, CA * College of Marin, Kentfield, CA * San Francisco Unified School District * Community Music Center, San Francisco * Various Bay Area classes for strings, voice and class improvisation* Los Angeles Unified School District

As a teaching artist with San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music I led musical outreach programs in San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools.  With Real Vocal String Quartet, I led string improvisation workshops at University of Delaware, Cal Poly Pomona, Eastern Illinois University, Colorado Mountain Colleges, and at American String Teachers Association Conferences.

Read my article in Strings about teaching: “BACK TO SCHOOL – Learning to teach well required more than just my performance experience.”


"Jessica is a beautiful cellist. She is extremely diverse in her stylistic abilities, but is also an expressive and accomplished classical player.She is a gifted communicator and has a natural and innate sense of music."

Irene Sazer, violinist & founder, Real Vocal String Quartet

"Jessica makes what seems impossible to do, very possible. She is an excellent observer, there's not much that she misses, and she is careful to illustrate what a piece of music is about as well as understanding the era from which it comes. I think she is profoundly musical and aware of what is going on around her."

Kari Prindl, cello student, Alexander Technique Instructor

"I think it is most important that educators bring their classical backgrounds into the real world, and Jessica is a great example of this. Her enthusiasm for everything from classical to cutting edge is a strong and positive influence on her many students."

Boyd Jarrell, Director of Choral Activities, College of Marin

"Jess is also a great teacher – together we have taught improvisation workshops together as well as given educational performances for children. In both cases, her attention to detail makes our workshops and performances better – she makes sure the concepts we present are tied together to a theme, and that our wording is clear and concise."

Alisa Rose, violinist, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

"To me, she is a true 21st Century musician, one who is technically accomplished, versatile, eclectic in taste, collaborative, and passionate about being an ambassador for music and engaging fully with a diverse audience."

A.J. McCaffrey, professor of composition, California State University, Northridge


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