Abe Jacob, creative consultant for the inaugural edition of the BSMC (Broadway Sound Master Classes), is also known as the "Godfather of Theatre Sound Design." Was it UK sound designer Jonathan Deans who first referred to the venerable Jacob in that way, and the appellation simply stuck? Or was it a more general industry consensus that Jacob was worthy of this honorific? In the long run, it doesn't really matter, as Jacob is more than a "godfather" in that he has not only mentored several generations of talented sound desginers, he also continues to design on a very active basis and remains the in-house sound guru at New York City Opera.
Jacob got his start in San Francisco mixing sound for such 1960s rock stars as Jimi Hendrix, the Mamas and the Papas, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, and designed the sound system for the Monterey Pop Festival. Born and raised in Tucson, he still spends his winters in Arizona, where he occasionally does work for the Arizona Theatre Company. His credits range from Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line, and Pippin to Chicago, Cats, and Evita.
Jacob was the audio go-to guy for these and other seminal Broadway shows, virtually creating the position of sound designer in the process. In the past 15 years, Jacob has helped secure a charter for sound designers within IATSE (Local 922) and in 1993 he helped the Local achieve its first collective bargaining agreement with the League of American Theatres and Producers. In 1999 he helped merge the sound designers with Local One.
Attend the BSMC on June 28 and 29, 2003, and spend some time getting "up close and personal" with Abe Jacob. This is about the only time during the year we can guarantee he'll be in the same place for two full days. For complete details about the BSMC, the BLMC on June 25-27, and the EDDY Awards on June 27, go to the BLMC/BSMC website.. This is one Broadway season you won't want to miss.