Jack Perla

Beginning in New York with his group Music Without Walls and continuing in San Francisco, Jack Perla has forged a reputation for his unique cross-fertilization of jazz, improvisation and classical music. He’s been commissioned by the Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, TwoSense, MATA, and many others. Jack’s latest opera Shalimar the Clown, based on the novel by Salman Rushdie, premiered in June 2016 at Opera Theater St. Louis. Rajiv Joseph, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, wrote the libretto, and James Robinson, one of America’s most sought-after directors, led the production. The Wall Street Journal called Shalimar the Clown “topical, literary and theatrical”; The New York Times: “genuinely out-of-the-box composing”; The Chicago Tribune: “the dramatic resonance of modern Shakespearean tragedy” and Opera News: “the finesse of Puccini”. An American Dream, a one-act opera with libretto by Jessica Murphy-Moo received its world-premiere with Seattle Opera in August 2015. The Seattle Times called it “a gripping piece of musical theater”. The San Francisco Chronicle called Jack’s 2014 opera River of Light “a subtly cross-pollinated marvel”. Jack is the recipient of awards from the Thelonious Monk Institute, American Composers Forum, New Music USA, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Argosy Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Paul Mellon Foundation, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. He grew up in New York and lives in San Francisco.

37.7618242, -122.3985871

San Franicsco, CA (94107)

Full Name:
Jack Perla
Contact Email:
Institutional Affiliation:


Music Styles:
All Styles: Classical, Jazz, Rock, Popular
Instrument/Voice Types Taught:
Age Ranges:
High School
Middle School
5 and up

DMA, Yale School of Music; MM & BM, Manhattan School of Music

Years Teaching:
Lesson Rate:
Teaching Method:

My teaching goals are to inspire my students best performance and creativity, and to share my knowledge and experience with concision and clarity. I couple a solid lesson plan with a readiness to respond in the moment to the student's personality and creativity.

Makes House Calls: