Who Is Jesse Fischer?

Who is Jesse Fischer?

For Brooklyn-based pianist/composer/producer Jesse Fischer, the simplest things are best — a catchy melody, a heartfelt lyric, an irresistible groove.

Whether hitting airwaves and dancefloors worldwide with his jazzy house remixes of Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit” or Takuya Kuroda’s “Afro Blues”, collaborating with multi-instrumentalist and ClubCasa Chamber Orchestra-founder Sly5thAve on remixes of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon”, or headlining the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club with his own group, Jesse maintains his direct, less-is-more approach, with an emphasis on emotion. “Every song begins with a feeling or a story,” Jesse explains. “Once we establish that, then we can get to the more technical aspects of the music.”

Jesse’s music easily crosses boundaries between jazz, soul, pop, indie, electronic, and folk. But what draws his eclectic influences together is that Jesse always plays and creates from the heart. It’s his passion for music and the moment, and ability to tap directly into the emotional content of every song that makes him such a sought-after producer, arranger, accompanist, and bandleader.

“Music is inherently a social activity,” Jesse says, “but unfortunately that aspect is missing from much of today’s music, both jazz and pop.” To that end, Jesse works tirelessly to restore music’s crucial role in society, by making his music personally connect with listeners, whether performing with his jazz group or through his producing and engineering. “Whatever I’m working on, my ultimate goal is to make you feel something,” he explains.

Jesse studied music the old-fashioned way, in churches, barrooms, wedding halls, record stores, and living room jam sessions. Over the years, he’s been blessed with diverse performance opportunities. From backing up legendary hip-hop group Black Moon at the Rock The Bells festival, to playing a pick-up gig with Stevie Wonder at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during President Obama’s inauguration, to appearing with British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck — Jesse finds something to learn in every gig and jam session.

A triple threat as musician, engineer, and producer, Jesse has recorded six albums as a bandleader with his own group, most recently the ObliqSound release Retro Future. His warm, soulful touch, and bold, spacious compositions have earned him three SoulTracks Award nominations and most recently was an Independent Music Award finalist. His music has been played by tastemakers such as the BBC’s Gilles Peterson and KCRW’s Anthony Valadez and Garth Trinidad, as well as appearing on television shows including “Criminal Minds” (CBS), “Franklin & Bash” (TNT), and “Model City” (BET). He is currently working on his seventh album, Day Dreamer, as well as producing and engineering records from alto saxophonist Godwin Louis, trombonist Matthew Hartnett, singer-songwriter May Cheung, and hip-hop band Exact Change Project.

 

Selected Appearances

 


2013
Blue Note Jazz Club (NYC) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle w/ special guests Mino Cinelu, Dayna Stephens, Lauren Desberg
Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival (Jackson, MS) – w/ Laura Izibor
World Cafe Live (Philly) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle
Bohemian Caverns (DC) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle
Blue Note Jazz Festival (NYC) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle
SXSW (Austin, TX) – w/ Andy Allo

2012
Pittsburgh Jazz Festival (Pittsburgh, PA) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle
Artscape Festival (Baltimore, MD) – w/ Laura Izibor
B. B. King’s (NYC) – w/ Ryan Shaw
World Cafe Live (Philly) – w/ Ryan Shaw
Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) – w/ Lakecia Benjamin
MusicMeeting Festival (Nijmegen, Netherlands) – w/ Lakecia Benjamin
Moers Festival (Moers, Germany) – w/ Lakecia Benjamin
Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas, NV) – w/ Ryan Shaw
Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI) – w/ Ryan Shaw
Kennedy Center (DC) – w/ Andre Henry
Winter Jazz Festival (NYC) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle w/ special guest Casey Benjamin

2011
Rock The Bells (NYC) – w/ Black Moon
Macy’s Music Festival (Cincinnati, OH) – w/ Laura Izibor
Cape Town International Jazz Festival (South Africa) – w/ Laura Izibor
Hampton Jazz Festival (Hampton, VA) – w/ Laura Izibor
Blues Alley (Washington, DC) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle
Churchill Grounds (Atlanta, GA) – Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle
Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival (Jamaica) – w/ Laura Izibor

2010
Skywards International Jazz Festival (Dubai, UAE) – w/ Laura Izibor

Press Quotes

“Jesse Fischer plays with astounding energy; creative ideas seem to issue forth from his hands to his instruments at a geyser-like rate. But he and his young band, Soul Cycle, are at their best when they show restraint, letting a rhythm drive its way toward some resolution.”
— DownBeat

“Jesse Fischer’s new album Retro Future takes us back into the timeless sounds of jazz-funk and soul, while commanding elements of electro, hip-hop and African influences.”
— JazzTimes

“Jersey-bred, Brooklyn-based keyboardist composes sleek funk, a lá Jeff Lorber, but possess a delicate touch like Chick Corea, all while leading his agile road band, Soul Cycle. His chops behind the keys are only surpassed by his prowess as a producer, arranger and engineer.”
— The Revivalist

“The music is continually expanding into new horizons, and few are as sumptuous as the one Soul Cycle mines. The heavy (if occasionally jittery) grooves are foundations for lyrical, gorgeous blossoms of melody and sound.”
— Washington City Paper