Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program
B.A.University of Chicago
Cam Cunningham is an LA-based composer. He originally comes from a family of music lovers in Cincinnati, Ohio. His musical journey started when his mother purchased him a guitar for his 12th birthday. He taught himself how to play the guitar listening to artists like Frank Zappa, Radiohead, and George Benson. He studied composition at the University of Chicago with Anthony Cheung and Augusta Read Thomas. Here, he broadened his interests to include Classical and avant-garde composition. He also continued to perform and study jazz under the tutelage of saxophonist and composer Mwata Bowden. As a senior, we won the Menn Prize for best composition.
After graduation, he pursued a career as a performer and composer for Cordoba and other bands in Chicago. Cordoba released a couple of LPs and toured the eastern United States between 2016 and 2023. They had the privilege of opening up for internationally renowned jazz artists like Alfa Mist. Cordoba has been featured in PASTE, American Songwriter, Post-Trash, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications. Cam also played with DXTR Spits who won NPR’s Tiny Desk Competition for Chicago.
Following the pandemic, he switched his focus to composition while still playing with Cordoba and other bands. He completed his Masters of Music at the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program where he studied with Emmy award-winning composer Hummie Mann (Robin Hood: Men in Tights). As part of the program, he had the opportunity to write a new work for a 52-piece orchestra entitled Could Be Us.
Cam recently moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to continue working as a composer for film and television. Up to this point, Cam has scored 10 films and one video game. In addition to his work as a media composer, he continues to write concert works and songs. He released 3 short rock EPs in 2023 under the moniker Jeezel Petes. This project was funded by the city of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which awarded Cam a grant to write and record original music. Jeezel Petes has a longer form work scheduled for release in 2024.
Cam's works draw inspiration from a wide variety of music from Minimalism to Post-bop jazz to rock subgenres like post punk and math rock. He is equally comfortable writing for orchestra or rock band and is just as at home writing free jazz sketches as he is meticulously arranging concert works. When not working on music, he loves running in beautiful places, reading history and sci-fi, and spending time with his partner, Teresa.