Performing Live: Jessy J.

For the saxophonist, one of the great joys of indie music making is the opportunity to step outside the confines of the urban jazz genre and spread the seasonal cheer in a multitude of styles from track to track with different lineups of her favorite musicians. Five of the nine tracks were mixed by Jessy’s longtime collaborator, producer and mentor Paul Brown, who also plays one of his blistering trademark electric guitar solos on “Silent Night.” Also helping Jessy make the season grooving and bright are contemporary jazz greats, keyboardist Jeff Lorber and guitarist Steve Oliver; vocalist Maurice Smith; guitarists Michael Thompson, Michael Nomad Ripoll and Michael Angel; keyboardist Norman Jackson; pianists Jay Rowe and Ruslan Sirota; bassists Oskar Cartaya and Frank Abraham; percussionists Ronnie Gutierrez and Richie Gajate Garcia; drummers Dave Hooper, Trever Somerville, Iajhi Hampden and Gary Novak.

With her sizzling mix of hot beats, Latin and samba rhythms and sensuous, captivating melodies, Mexican American saxophonist and singer Jessy J (born Jessica Arellano) has had everyone swaying under the Tequila Moon, contemplating the joys of True Love and Hot Sauce, and embracing the possibilities of Second Chances and finding My One and Only One since she broke onto the contemporary jazz scene in 2008.

In addition to her airplay and chart success and tours with smooth jazz greats like Gerald Albright, Jeff Lorber, Euge Groove and Peter White on several all-star Guitars & Saxes tours, Jessy has performed on the hit television competition shows “American Idol” “The Voice” and “Dancing With the Stars.” The year Steven Tyler was a judge on “Idol,” he was so impressed with her performances that he invited her to play on Aerosmith’s 2012 album Music From Another Dimension.

Jessy’s connection to her Latin heritage runs deep, as her father is originally from Mexico and her mom hails from Texas.  Born in Oregon and raised in southern California, Jessy grew up in a home full of big family get-togethers, Mexican feasts and lots of Latin, jazz and pop music.  Her musical influences include Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Grover Washington, Jr., Sergio Mendes, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan.

After graduating from USC with a degree in jazz studies, Jessy’s equal passion for pop led her quickly into recording sessions with artists like Michael Buble, followed over the years by tours with Jessica Simpson, The Temptations and Michael Bolton. In 2004, Jessy joined the cast of the off-Broadway show “Blast!” and drew on her multitude of skills as an actress, singer, dancer and sax player as she performed throughout the U.S., in London and Tokyo. Even while working with pop and Latin artists, she put together her own band, performing at such L.A. hotspots as The Jazz Bakery and, through her work with the Henry Mancini Institute and Orchestra, she performed on their twice GRAMMY® nominated album Elevation, and at numerous official functions and private parties.

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