Jacob Groopman grew up in Richmond, Virginia and started learning guitar at age 12. After playing rock, blues and jazz in high school Jacob was accepted into the Oberlin Conservatory Jazz performance program in 2000. While at Oberlin he began studying early American roots music, bluegrass and finger style blues guitar in addition to jazz. After graduating in 2004 Jacob moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin a career as a professional musician.
From 2005-2010 he played in the Albino! Afrobeat Orchestra one of the premier Afrobeat ensembles on the west coast performing at major festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, High Sierra and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. During this time he also played in various Bluegrass and country bands, kept a private teaching studio and taught private lessons and classes at the Marin Country Day School and at the 5th String Music store in Berkeley. From 2007 to 2012 Jacob taught for a week each summer at the Cordova Alaska Bluegrass Camp. From 2012-2015 he ran a series of Bluegrass kids music camps at festivals in California, Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Alaska.
In 2011 Jacob began playing with singer songwriter Melody Walker. They toured nationally as a duo from 2011 through 2013 releasing two albums. Around this time they helped found the progressive bluegrass band Front Country with members of the Bay Area Bluegrass community. After becoming only the 3rd band in history to win both the Rockygrass and Telluride band competitions in 2012 and 2013, Front Country decided to become a full time band in 2014. After releasing the critically acclaimed album “Sake of the Sound” Front Country began playing major festivals touring nationally and internationally. After moving the band from California to Nashville TN in 2016 they released their second album “Other Love Songs” that was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and by Rolling Stone. Front Country kept a full time touring schedule from 2015-2019 with performances in the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia and China.
In the fall 2020 Front Country released its 3rd full length album “Impossible World” which was also featured in Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. Currently Jacob is living in Nashville TN and in addition to continuing to release music with Front Country and Melody Walker he’s also playing guitar, dobro and banjo with singer songwriter Rachel Baiman and Americana blues/rock band The War and Treaty. He will release his debut solo album Through the Gates in July 2021.
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