About Chesapeake International Arts
Chesapeake International Arts (CIA) was founded us, Bob and Susan Jones in 2015. We have been musical and literary artists most of our lives with equal measures of business and administrative education and experience.
Robert C. “Bob” Jones has been a leader in the performing arts field for over 40 years, having brought innovation, change, and improved bottom line results including five major turnarounds, to symphony, opera and musicians’ professional organizations.
He started working as a professional musician at age 17 and eventually played saxophones, clarinet and flute full-time for 20 years with orchestras, bands, arena shows, national Broadway touring companies and as a classical saxophonist soloing with orchestras and bands and leading the Oregon Saxophone Quartet.
After earning a degree in economics and while attending law school, he was elected to head the Portland (Oregon) local musicians’ union and, subsequently, to the American Federation of Musicians International Executive Board, and its youngest member and only active career musician at the time.
Mr. Jones’s business, labor and artistic achievements caused the Minnesota Orchestra to recruit him as general manager of the orchestra and Orchestra Hall. As President of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 14 years, he led its growth to one of America’s few 52-week season orchestras, the acquisition and renovation of the Hilbert Circle Theatre and an adjacent office tower, endowment growth from $4 million to $96 million, a recordings, a decade of “Indianapolis on the Air” national broadcasts, and two tours each of the US and Europe. Moving to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as Vice President, Music, and President of the National Symphony Orchestra, Jones was not only responsible for the NSO but for the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra and the Fortas Chamber Series among other duties.
While CEO of the Indianapolis and National Symphony Orchestras, he served on numerous advisory boards, grant review panels, foundation and pension fund boards. In 2001, he created and operated two private sector companies while continuing arts management consulting and became a director of the Symphony Orchestra Institute. Consulting engagements led to leadership roles with two symphony and opera organizations in crisis and their recoveries from imminent closure: Opera Pacific and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. He has been a volunteer consultant for the Fund for Arts and Culture in Asia, served on the board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. He was a founding member of both the Indianapolis and the Portland (OR) city arts councils and chaired the latter for two years. He has served on panels and/or done organizational assessments for the Indiana and Michigan state arts councils and for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Currently, Mr. Jones is a Senior Advisor with StillArt, a company based in Finland with clients throughout Europe. He is vice-president of World-Wide Concurrent Premiers, a new music commissioning organization based in Boston with over 20 works by prominent composers fully funded and premiered, world-wide. He is a former member of the League of American Orchestras, Opera America and the International Association of Artist Managers.
Bob Jones served as managing partner of Chesapeake International Artists, 2012-2015 working with founder William Nerenberg in providing select performing artists and composers to the world’s stages, resources for visionary programmers, and advisory support to a limited number of professional and volunteer leaders in the musical arts. When Bill retired and closed that business, Bob created Chesapeake International Arts, to continue both his consulting and his work on behalf of individual artists. He has established a membership-based regional directory open to professional artists of all disciplines that provides an innovative shared web platform for customized individual artists’ pages and ad hoc management and booking services.
Mr. Jones’s reputation for his accomplished musicianship, entrepreneurial enterprise, and his organization management track record in programming, fundraising, governance, financial management, strategic planning and labor relations has given him a respected International reputation.
During his 20 years as a performer, Mr. Jones had a large private teaching studio of up to 70 pupils a week. He was adjunct faculty at Portland State University, Lewis and Clark College, Mt. Hood Community College and Reed College. He is an experienced sailor (Pacific Northwest to Alaska, trans-Atlantic, Australia, Caribbean, Chesapeake Bay, California coast).
He now resides in Maryland on historic Tilghman’s Island, with his wife, Susan, an author of humorous verse and a professional clarinetist and pianist. Today, they are both active performers, working together in their musical group, Zefiro and in Chesapeake International Arts.
Music business professional Susan Joneshas spent a great deal of her career as a performer, playing for fourteen years as a member of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, twelve years as a substitute and “first-call extra” with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and also with such ensembles as the Portland Opera Association Orchestra and the Portland Symphonic Band. In addition, she has performed with David Schifrin at Chamber Music Northwest, and has been a member of the Group for New Music, Lyric Ensemble and the Northwest Woodwind Ensemble. She has also performed professionally in Minneapolis, Washington, DC and Orange County, California. Ms. Jones has always been an active recitalist and is currently a member of the Brazilian ragtime ensemble known as Zéfiro which she co-founded with her husband, Bob, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
As a teacher, Ms. Jones taught clarinet privately and at Linfield College, Reed College, the Portland Community Music Center, Broad Ripple High School’s Performing arts Center in Indianapolis. She has been a rehearsal pianist for the Opera Conservatory at the Orange County (CA) High School of the Arts.
Susan has been a musician since her very early years when she took up the clarinet and the piano, studying from grade school through college. She was Principal Clarinet in the Portland Junior Symphony which has come to be known as the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and she spent summers doing advanced study on scholarship at both the Aspen and Tanglewood Music festivals. Her teachers were Catherine Palladino, Principal Clarinet of the Oregon Symphony, Earl Bates (Aspen Festival), Professor Anton Weinberg (Indiana University) and has attended master classes with Mitchell Lurie and with Gino Cioffi while a member of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra.
Ms. Jones has a baccalaureate degree in German from Portland State University and a Master’s degree in Library Science from Indiana University. These degrees led to a number of corporate and academic positions including: Library Manager,American States Insurance; Washington DC’s Bureau of National Affairs; UC Irvine in California where she was named interim manager of the Business Library on two occasions and was the department trainer on the use of online resources.
She was on the staff of the Maryland artist management firm Chesapeake International Artists as a booking associate and as website manager for three years.
Susan also has an obsession with words and vocabulary and finds an outlet for this passion by writing “vocabulary verse.” She has published a book called, “Words’ Worth’s Vocabulary Verse A to Z and Back Again: A Rhyming Romp through the Alphabet.” In addition to playing in Zéfiro, Susan creates and performs one-woman shows in which she weaves her clarinet through piano accompaniments which she has, herself, pre-recorded, and themes that she builds around her vast repertoire of humorous verse about words that amuse her and her audience.