Artistic & Musical Career Development
I fell in love with playing the piano at a very young age. My mother tells the story of trying to encourage me otherwise, but conceded to teach me for a couple of years, and eventually drove me into the city of Prince Albert for private piano lessons with a small variety of teachers. The most influential of this group of instructors was Martin Janovsky (several years of study) who supported me to continue to develop as an adult through playing and performing. In fact, when Martin moved to Saskatoon in the late 80’s, my mother drove me into saskatoon (over two hours away) for lessons, as a suitable replacement was not found in Prince Albert after he had left.
At seventeen, I left my small northern Saskatchewan village and made my way to Saskatoon where I soon ended up playing in my first band with 3 other young men that continue to be active musicians to this day. The band the Reign produced original material and played popular songs for the night club circuit and other special events throughout Saskatchewan. During this time, I was also employed by Martin Janovsky, and performed background music regularly at the Willows Golf and Country club.
I then moved to Winnipeg, MB for a few years where I sang in my uncles church choir, studied with Canadian Jazz icon Ron Paley(Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra), and found employment in what seemed a large and old enough hotel to house a beautiful grand piano. I shared the position of house pianist with Chantal Kreviazuk for a year and a half at the Hotel Fort Garry performing every other night and honing my skill. The hours and hours I spent performing and playing at the Hotel supported my development as both an ambient performer and a spontaneous arranger.
I traveled to the province of British Columbia for a year after my time in Manitoba, and began experimenting with teaching, both privately and inside the public school system, and theatrical musical direction.
I returned after these travels to make Saskatoon, SK my home in 1997 and got right down to business collaborating with a variety of local musicians, composing and recording original music, and performing (with individuals and bands). I studied music within the Saskatoon musical community logging my 10,000 hours of experience by simply playing with others and presenting that work. I have performed and recorded with many local artists including Joel Grundahl band, Smokekiller, Wide Mouth Mason, the Steadies (aka Mobadass), and the Eileen Laverty Trio. I also spent a large amount of time with the creation of new music with the Fancyladds – a band that was featured during Prairie Music Week in the late 90’s. During these years, I travelled the province and country as a supporting musician, playing at concerts and festivals of all sizes. I enjoy playing and composing within musical groupings. Collaboration is one of my greatest strengths thus far in my musical career. I have a talent for supporting and arranging the music of my colleagues.
I have always enjoyed arranging music. I was able to ‘play by ear’ as a young child and have developed this skill for years. I have also had a talent for performing music and entertaining people. I have been performing on my own for years mostly playing atmospheric music (private parties, John’s restaurant for over ten years, etc) or performing at local venues such as the Bassment for the Saskatoon Jazz Society. I love being on stage and find it easy to be authentic in front of an audience. I have always enjoyed comedy and find ways to bring humor to my band mates and our audience.
I returned to teaching music privately in 2001after taking a few years to work purely as a performer and session player. I have an aptitude for facilitating the development of musical adoration and talent in others. I opened my own teaching studio Jesse Brown’s Musicscool in 2006. I enroll both adults and children within the studio working with fifty students every year. I have had a waiting list for my services the last four years. I support my students to study, play, arrange, perform, compose, and record.
I recently branched into another aspect of music of late, volunteering with a local community research project in 2011 with aboriginal students from Prince Albert. I contributed to the social research by supporting, facilitating, and recording the musical composition and narrative work of the participants. This was the first time I utilized music in such a methodical fashion as a folk psychology to support people’s empowerment. The work was published in an Australian e-zine in October of 2013.
As I developed as an artist, performer, and mentor, I found myself becoming more centered on my personal creativity and emerging as an independent artist in my own right. In 2012 I arranged and recorded my first solo piano album of holiday classics. “December” was a very well received album released in December of 2012.
My artistic process has matured in it’s development to one of craftsmanship. The Saskatchewan Arts Board was kind enough to give me financial support for the creation of new solo piano work in 2013, and I am very excited to share the work with my fans in 2014. Jesse Brown’s “Heartwork” – an independent solo piano recording of original compositions, is now available here, and on iTunes and CD baby.