J.J. Wright

J.J. Wright
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Director, University of Notre Dame Folk Choir
  • Teaching Lab Fellow (2023-2024)
  • "Rhythms of Faith: Liturgy, Music, and Creativity"

J.J. Wright currently serves as the Director of the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir. As a conductor, pianist, composer, and producer his interests lie at the convergence of the creative process, music-making, spirituality, and liturgy. He and Dr. Kimberly Hope Belcher are developing “God Gives Us a New Song: Renewing Theology through Musical Creativity” at the NDIAS Teaching Lab. In this project-based course, students will experience the globally diverse and ancient history of musical theology on the Psalms, creating renewed theology by writing lyrics and music of their own.

J.J.’s work has appeared on Grammy-award winning and #1 Billboard Classical albums. Most recently, he traveled to Jerusalem with the Notre Dame Folk Choir to record their new setting of “The Passion,” which was also awarded a Teacher-Scholar Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship. J.J. has recorded extensively and has worked on albums with Dave Samuels, AfroBop Alliance, The United States Naval Academy Band, Franky Rousseau, Levon Henry, Dominic Mekky, Ike Sturm, Nate Wood, Fifth House Ensemble, Joe Henry, Ryan Freeland, 5/4 Productions, The Notre Dame Children’s Choir, The St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, Dana Nielson, and Br. Isaiah, CFR.

After an enlistment with the United States Naval Academy Band, J.J. completed his undergraduate degree in jazz piano at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Moving to the University of Notre Dame for graduate studies, J.J. received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Program in Sacred Music and was awarded Mellon Foundation and Lilly Endowment Fellowships during his studies. J.J. was awarded the Frank and Domenica Annese Dissertation Fellowship from the Nanovic Institute of European Studies to live in Rome, Italy, for one year while he wrote and composed his dissertation, Drama and Devotion at Chiesa Nuova: Translating Anerio’s Teatro Armonico to Jazz Oratorio, took classes at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, and interned with the Sistine Chapel Choir.