Jess was born in Hull, Yorkshire, and engaged in the strong tradition of brass bands from a young age, giving her first performance at the age of 7. She played the trumpet, cornet and piano throughout her childhood, performed with many ensembles and held the principal cornet position in the City of Hull Brass Band from the age of 15.
Having achieved a Music Technology Award at 16 for her self-taught compositional skill Jess went on to read Music at Bath Spa University where she studied both composition and performance with celebrated experimental composer James Saunders and trumpet player Jeff Boehm, amongst others. After graduating from Bath Spa University with a first class honours degree Jess was awarded a scholarship from Benslow Music where she studied composition with Michael Finnissy. Bath Spa University awarded Jess the Graduate Composition Award in 2014 before she moved on to The University of Malta where she completed a Masters; her main area of research is choreomusical, collaborative relationships within contemporary performance.
As a brass player Jess has played in many ensembles, whilst residing in Bath she performed frequently in local events and opened the Benjamin Britten Festival in Bath Abbey in 2013. She was also a member of the Bath Spa Band with whom she took part in regional band contests and played in many ensembles within Bath Spa University where she took part in competitions at venues such as London College of Music. Jess also enjoys modern music and has premiered pieces in both the UK and Malta.
In Malta Jess was involved with the premiere and recording of Karl Fiorini’s oratorio Via Crucis 2016 and is currently a member of the contact improvisation team in Malta, regularly performing alongside dance. Jess frequently plays in events organised by Strada Stretta, most recently in a street opera production of Carmen. Jess also regularly premieres new work at For Your Ears Only! events.
As a session musician Jess has contributed to multiple albums which have charted in both British and French popular music.
As a composer Jess has written music for various ensembles such as The Plus Minus Ensemble, and collaborated with artists and dancers including Joan Sallas, Naomi Hunter and The Julia Thorneycroft Company. She has also written site-specific works and installations for the Holburne Museum in Bath and Jess’ work with Naomi Hunter has been performed in the Open Space dance festival. In December 2015 Jess’ Ebuillent Reverberations was the first piece involving electronic music and dance ever shown at the Mdina Biennale. Jess’ most recent premiere, E V E, was performed by Zfin Malta Dance Ensemble in the Malta Arts Festival 2016.
Jess is a co-founder of For Your Ears Only!; the only organisation committed to showcasing contemporary music in Malta.