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Q&A with Jessy J

Exclusive Interview by Karen Beishuizen
Photos courtesy of Jessy J

Jessy J is an American saxophonist. At the young age of 15 she performed at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival. She recorded with Michael Buble and Aerosmith and performed with Taylor Swift during The MTV Video Awards in 2014. On Mother’s Day she released a children’s album and is currently working on her 10th studio album. Check out her music!

KB: Who were your musical heroes growing up?

In my formative years, I drew inspiration from the sounds of Cannonball Adderley, Sergio Mendes, and Brazil 66, as well as the rich tapestry of classical piano compositions. Each of these artists left an indelible mark on my musical journey, shaping my style in distinct ways.

KB: You started out playing piano?

My musical odyssey commenced at the tender age of four, embarking on a journey of piano lessons and recitals. Music quickly became not just a pastime but a passion, offering me both a creative outlet and a source of endless fascination.

KB: Why did you choose the saxophone eventually?

When the opportunity arose to join the elementary school band in third grade, my heart was set on the flute. However, with the instrument already popular among my peers, my music teacher suggested the saxophone. I was instantly captivated by its playful nature and unique timbre.

KB: You played the Montreux Jazz Festival at a young age.

At the age of 15, I had the privilege of performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, a transformative experience that ignited my love for both music and travel. The festival exposed me to the pinnacle of musical talent and offered me a glimpse into the rich tapestry of European culture.

KB: You recorded with Michael Buble.

A turning point in my career came when a friend involved in arranging music for Michael Bublé’s project, under the guidance of David Foster, invited me to contribute as a saxophonist in a big band recording. This experience was exhilarating and a treat working with Michael, whom I admire greatly for his artistry and unique voice.

KB: You performed with Taylor Swift.

Sharing the stage with Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards was a highlight. Taylor’s kindness and exceptional talent as a performer, musician, songwriter, and philanthropist left a lasting impression on me.

KB: Steven Tyler asked you to play on the Aerosmith album “Music From Another Dimension”?

During my appearance on American Idol in 2012, Steven Tyler, a judge at the time, extended an invitation to join his recording project. Collaborating with Steven and his band in the studio was a surreal experience that I will always cherish.

KB: Are there any artists you would love to collaborate with and why?

A lifelong admirer of Carlos Santana’s music, I am drawn to the energy and iconic status he embodies. Collaborating with him would be a dream come true, an opportunity to fuse our musical styles and create something truly extraordinary.

KB: What are you currently up to?

Currently, I am immersed in the creation of my 10th studio project, a testament to my enduring passion for music. Additionally, a children’s album was released on Mother’s Day, a project close to my heart. Thank you for this opportunity. God bless, Jessy J.

Check out Jessy J’s website: HERE

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