MI SUCCESS STORY: JESS WAYNE
Jess Wayne describes his music as a fusion of “Modern Folk, Blues, easy Jazz and a dash of Americana.” As a singer, modern dancer, actor, musician, professor and former lawyer, Jess’s songs reflect a wildly varied, curious Renaissance life.
Before Jess was “Jess Wayne,” he attended Guitar Institute of Technology in 2009 as Douglas Jessop. Jess was always one of the older students in the classroom, but he did not let that stop him in his pursuit of a music career. He said that enrolling in MI was an easy decision for him:
“I chose MI because it was the premier educational facility for contemporary guitar. As a long-time subscriber to Guitar Player Magazine, I had been reading about it forever. When I decided it was time to get better at guitar, I came out to visit and was blown away by the faculty and the curriculum. My modest desire to just come for a quarter immediately converted to taking the whole program.”
Before GIT, Jess was a college scholarship actor, surveyor, cook, modern dancer touring with New York City dance companies, avant-garde filmmaker apprentice, handyman, janitor, lawyer, law professor and head of his own boutique law firm.
After MI, he played in over 25 original projects as a sideman for both live performances and recording. Around 2014, he started writing and performing his own songs and in 2016, produced his first album “Ride The River” featuring MI’s John Rosenberg as co-producer and on keyboards and Alexis Sklarevski on bass.
Jess is headed out this year for his third tour “The Infinite Possibilities” Tour – which will take him from California to Colorado and over to Europe where he will perform at the Belladrum Festival in Inverness, Scotland and on to Prague, Munich and other venues.
Since MI, Jess has played some of the major venues in Los Angeles including multiple gigs at the Whiskey a Go Go, House of Blues and The Viper Room.
Jess shared that his education at MI quickly set him up for success after graduation, saying:
“I learned…how to listen and understand the styles, structures, melodies and harmonic content of all kinds of contemporary music. This knowledge made being a sideman easy and fun and helped me quickly jump into the style and feel of whatever song was being presented. It also freed me to develop my own style for my own songwriting and performing.”