Jonathan Romeo (pronounced Ro-MAY-o) is Interim Executive Director of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, headquartered in Abingdon, Va.
He is responsible for coordinating all activities and programs of The Crooked Road, an economic development project based on the traditional music heritage of Southwest Virginia. He works closely with an Executive Board and a full Board of Directors which consists of one representative from each of 10 counties, 20 towns, three cities, four planning district commissions, two regional tourism organizations, eight major venues, and four state agencies.
Prior to this position, Romeo worked as Artist in Residence/Instructor of Music at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in Richlands, Va. Romeo initiated a Traditional Music Program at SWCC in 2003 and works with several annual festivals including the Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers' Convention in Tazewell, Va.; the Redbuds & Bluegrass Festival in Honaker, Va.; and the Charlie Poole Music Festival in Eden, N.C.
Romeo is a classical guitarist and composer working with orchestral and chamber music as well as traditional American music. His interest in folk music of the southern Appalachian region began in 1990 through a year-long residency at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, VA. Since that time, he has collaborated with numerous musicians of Southwest Virginia to help sustain and promote this unique American heritage.
Romeo's recent work as a composer includes "John Hardy's Dream" for banjo and orchestra, which was premiered by Mike Seeger and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in April 2005 alongside the U.S. premiere of an arrangement that Charles Seeger wrote for the CBS Radio Orchestra in 1940.