Styles - Old-Time Fiddle, Violin, Suzuki
Techniques - Aural Learning on Fiddle/Violin, Note Reading, Bow Technique, Tone and Stylistic Development, Supporting other Instruments/Vocalists and more.
Jess is at home teaching all levels of players, even the most beginning learners, young and old. She pulls from over ten years of performance experience as a fiddler, chamber artist, and soloist in helping others harness the power of their own musical voice. Students appreciate that she specializes in connecting with children, demystifying technique, and encouraging stylistic development and personal expression.
Jess nurtured an early love for music and life learning violin with the Suzuki Method. She studied from age five to age eighteen with Carol Waldvogel in Southeast Wisconsin, and continued at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire under Nobuyoshi Yasuda, where she played as Concertmaster of the University Chamber Orchestra and first violinist in the University Symphony Orchestra. She relocated to Johnson City, Tennessee to study Appalachian culture and American fiddle traditions at East Tennessee State University, and went on to complete a degree in Social Work and Spanish, while continuing her musical career on her own watch. She developed skills in old time fiddle, banjo, guitar, songwriting and vocal harmony under the expertise of Hunter Berry, Roy Andrade, and David Yates, Ed Snodderly, Daniel Boner and many others. In 2017 she released her debut album as a solo artist, Long Time Exhaling.
Now based in Chicago, IL she adores her work as teaching artist at the Old Town School of Folk Music, traveling when she can as a clinician/teaching artist at Augusta Heritage Center’s Old Time Week (Elkins, WV), Miles of Music Camp (Lake Winnipesaukee, NH/Boston, MA) and Suzuki and Kodály music education workshops in the Midwest. She also maintains a busy performance schedule nationally and internationally as a songwriter and freelance musician, touring most frequently of late with Chicago-based artist Al Scorch. (Bloodshot Records).
Bilingual Spanish speaker
Education: Bachelor’s in Social Work & Spanish
Bluegrass & Appalachian Studies, East TN
Started at the Old Town School in March of 2013