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James Hegarty

Professor of Music

Teaching Area(s)

Music / Music Technology
Individualized Major or Minor


  • MM, Northern Illinois University
  • MM, American Conservatory of Music
  • BA, Principia College


James Hegarty is an accomplished jazz and avant-garde performer and composer who has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Illinois Arts Council. His compositions have been performed in Europe, Asia, and in major festivals in the U.S. He has performed throughout the Midwest and in Europe, produced numerous multimedia performances in Chicago, New York, and St. Louis, and written four books on artistic creativity.

In 2004 he joined the faculty at Principia where he has served as chair of several departments, division head, Faculty Senate vice president and Director of Academic Special Programs. Hegarty also has 10 years of experience in arts administration as an executive director, education director, and grants administrator. As an artist and teacher, he has focused on music theory, composition, jazz, world music, and music technology.

The excitement of creative exploration and discovery that drives my artistic creativity also propels my desire to share in the classroom.

Contributions to Field

  • Midwest and European jazz performances
  • Founded the STL Free Jazz Collective, named to St. Louis Magazine's "A-List 2017"
  • Wrote and directed Guts and Soul: Looking for Street Music and Finding Inspiration, a documentary film
  • Composed and produced the multimedia opera The Soul of the Rock in NYC with a National Endowment for the Arts grant

Memberships and Affiliations

  • President, New Art Forum
  • New Music Circle, former board member
  • Regional Arts Commission, former grant review panelist

Publications and Presentations

  • Break the Rules: 50 Smashing Ways to Be More Creative, self-published book and ebook, 2017
  • You Creative, self-published book and ebook, 2017
  • Inspiration Notebook: Over 100 Ways to Begin, self-published book and ebook, 2015 
  • Work of Art: The Craft of Creativity, self-published book and ebook, 2014 
  • “Creativity Is . . .” documentary series on YouTube 
  • “Time Space” jazz trio recording on Kvist Records 
  • Concert reviews in Journal SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) 
  • Articles on recording technology in Pro Sound News 
  • Numerous talks on creativity

Jim Hegarty CV