Jess was born in Canberra. In 2001 she completed a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Studies) majoring in guitar at the Canberra School of Music, ANU. She graduated with first class honours, and received the Directors Prize. After travel through Europe and West Africa, Jess based herself in Sydney for twelve years, working in a wide variety of styles and settings. Jess has released three recordings under her own name; The Singing Fish (Contemporary Jazz, Jazzgroove Records), The New Dynamites (Alt Rock, Vitamin Records) and Tinkly Tinkly (Contemporary Jazz, Yum Yum Tree Records). Her music has been critically acclaimed nationally, both in print and on radio. She has worked extensively as a guitarist and guitarist/singer with many well- known Australian musicians and groups, including touring extensively for The catholics and Jim Conway’s Big Wheel, Petulant Frenzy and Alyx Dennison. Since 2012 Jess has worked as guitarist, percussionist and vocalist for Shaun Parker Dance Company, touring major arts festivals in Australia as well as Europe and Malaysia in 2015.
Jess has recorded with a number of Australian ensembles, and has worked as a session guitarist, recording for television, including channel 9’s ‘Love Child’ series. Jess has collaborated on New Music projects, as an improviser and educator, including; ‘Minor Works’ (Ensemble Offspring’s Sizzle event) and ‘Massive Band’ (Bree van Reyk’s Project, Campbelltown Arts Centre).
Jess is a sought after music educator and has taught at The Australian Institute of Music, The University of Western Sydney, The SIMA Young Women’s Jazz Workshops, and has toured for Musica Viva in Schools for over 8 years. Jess is now based in Canberra and as well as continuing to perform nationally, she teaches guitar at ANU, Burgmann College, and at the Canberra Institute of Technology. In 2016 Jess was asked to direct the first SIMA Young Women’s Jazz Workshops in Canberra. In 2016 Jess launched a new project and stage name Pheno, with a successful crowd funding campaign to record an EP. The EP was released in May 2017 (Dragon Year) and launched in Sydney as part of VIVID.
As Pheno Jess won a CAPO award in 2016 and was awarded Australia Council funding to tour the project nationally in 2017.
In July 2017 Jess will perform for the Queensland Music Festival as part of the ‘Songs that Made Me’ project, working alongside Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch & Hannah Macklin.