Jacob was born August 12,1976 and raised on Lakewood Farm in Hanover County, VA. He had his first violin lesson at the age of 9, then acquired his first electric guitar at age 13. Early in life he gained a lasting appreciation for Willie Nelson's music, which he often heard on his parents' cassette player. Classic country led him to the blues, which he heard in many forms on Eric E. Stanley's "Bebop, Boogie, and Blues Review" on Richmond's 106.5 FM. Blues led to rock and metal, but also to Jazz, fusion, and world music.
As Jacob entered high school, sports became his primary focus; music was a welcome diversion from the rigors academics and athletic competition. He earned a football scholarship to James Madison University in 1994, but left the football team after two seasons to pursue music seriously while earning a B.A. in English. At JMU Jacob met and performed with musicians of many backgrounds and began to explore musical improvisation in its many forms, leaning toward jazz fusion and abstract jazz.
In search of a more complete understanding of Jazz music and its history, Jacob moved to Richmond, VA to enroll in the Jazz Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University. At VCU from 1999-2003, he studied Jazz guitar with Mike Ess, Classical guitar with David Toussaint, and Flamenco guitar with Charlie Moesser. During this time, Jacob began to work as a performer/instructor in the Richmond area, gaining valuable experience on stage and learning from many of the areas top players.
The study of Jazz music led Jacob into other uniquely American roots styles such as Old-Time, Bluegrass, and Traditional Blues. He began to study folk fiddle styles as well as classical and Jazz violin with Dennis Elliot, of Richmond,VA.
In 2005 Jacob moved to Philadelphia, PA where he opened and operated Bella Vista Music Studios for 3 years, and has just returned to his hometown of Ashland,VA to teach and perform.