JCDE sparks new life with original scores to classic silent films. Founded by composer and conductor Jack Curtis Dubowsky, the Ensemble specializes in live scores and combines intricately composed material and structured improvisation.

A team of top players led by composer and conductor Jack Curtis Dubowsky, the Ensemble has released four albums and has performed in historic cinemas including The Vista Theatre (Los Angeles), The Million Dollar Theater (Los Angeles), The Art Theatre (Long Beach), The Frida Cinema (Santa Ana), and venues nationwide including The Tank (NYC), AS220 (Providence, RI), Café Du Nord (SF), Meridian Gallery (SF), Carlsbad Music Festival, and The Lilypad (Cambridge, MA).

Silent film repertoire includes Nosferatu, The Black Pirate, The Golem, The Phantom Carriage, Sunrise, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In 2017 JCDE released ZORRO, an album of highlights of their score to The Mark of Zorro.


In 2008, after a long run of bands and projects, Dubowsky decided his performing group should bear his own name. The Ensemble began with concerts in chamber series, new music series, and galleries. San Francisco Classical Voice described the first album:

The ensemble's music can be described as free-form and transcendental… While comparisons of this sort are often odious, I might think of it as "the Philip Glass Ensemble meets John Zorn," with a healthy dose of Ornette Coleman thrown in for good measure. (Brian Gleeson, August 21, 2009)

The Ensemble presented programs of live music to experimental film, including shows at Artists Television Access (SF) and the feature Submerged Queer Spaces, which premiered at the African American Arts and Culture Complex for the 2010 National Queer Arts Festival. 

In 2010, the Ensemble attracted global attention with concerts of Depeche Mode's Violator, performed entirely live, start-to-finish, with a complement of strings, to mark the album's 20th anniversary.

Since 2013 the Ensemble has been based in southern California. JCDE played at ArtShare (DTLA) and the Long Beach Cultural Alliance, gradually moving into larger venues. Today, JCDE draws crowds of hundreds that routinely sell out large historic theatres. A group of core players anchor the ensemble, which varies by size and instrumentation depending on the requirements of the show.

September 2022