It all started in 2012 when Jesse was travelling with musical mates Eileen Laverty and Greg Hargarten on their way to a performance in Alberta. During that road trip, a conversation about making a recording of a piano music CD came up, and while Jesse had always felt unworthy of such effort, the passing of his grandfather earlier that same year had a profound effect on him. He felt that the time had come for him to give more of himself and leave something for his family to enjoy for years to come.
With his grandfather on his mind, Jesse decided to take advantage of the upcoming Christmas season and record a few simple arrangements of holiday classics as the perfect gift for family and friends. Inspired by the calm winter days of his childhood in Albertville SK, where the crunch of the snow under your boots would be the loudest sound you’d hear for miles, Jesse recorded December in his studio late at night after his family had gone to sleep.
To say that his first recording exceeded expectations would be a huge understatement. After its release in 2012, the overwhelming support from family, friends, and critics provided Jesse with the confidence to continue creating and recording his original compositions. Now, many years later, and with the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board Jesse has released one more album, an EP, and four songbooks of original compositions.
His second album, Heartwork is made up of 14 original solo piano pieces that range in style from Chopin-esque to Guaraldi-ish. As more rave reviews came in, and with the continued support of his family, it was with this album that Jesse decided to have his piano music transcribed, published and distributed through Debra Wanless Music, so more people could buy his piano music online and play it themselves. Since then, every composition from this album has been added to the Conservatory Canada Contemporary Idioms syllabus.
Donovan Johnson, program director of Enlightened Piano Radio, writes “Heartwork is a timeless masterpiece that deserves to be enjoyed for years to come.” and Kathy Oakes at mainlypiano.com writes “Heartwork is an exceptionally good album from the first note to the last!” and “I think his time of being a relatively unknown artist outside of his own corner of the world is about to end!”