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 been nominated for a Freedman award, won the inaugural Jann Rutherford Memorial Award, and was Shortlisted for National Songwriters Association Song Contest ‘Ballad’ category.
Jess has worked extensively as a guitarist and guitarist/singer with many well-known Australian musicians and groups, including touring for The catholics, Jim Conway’s Big Wheel, Petulant Frenzy, The 10 guitar project and Alyx Dennison, as a performing session musician she has worked alongside Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch, Tim Rogers, Urthboy and many more. From 2012-2015 Jess worked as guitarist, and vocalist for Shaun Parker Dance Company, touring major arts festivals in Australia as well as Europe and Malaysia in 2015.
Jess has recorded for television, and dance productions, including channel 9’s ‘Love Child’ series, and also works as a composer, including original scores for theatre productions “Adult Child Dead Child” and “Boys Will Be Boys”
In 2016 Jess launched an alt-pop project and alternate stage name Pheno (fee-no), her debut 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, a recent highlight for the Pheno project was supporting New York artist “Joan as Policewoman” for her Canberra show (May 2019)
Jess, now based in Canberra, continues to perform nationally, recent highlights include; 2018, as part of an all female band performing at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, with artists such as Kate Cebrano, Kira Piru, Katie Noonan, Emma Donovan, Dami Im and Archie Roach. In 2019 Jess was part of the house band for Georgia Mooney’s (All My Exes Live in Texas) “Supergroup” working with Fanny Lumsden, Tim Rogers, Urthboy, Ben Salter and many more. Most Recently, Jess was a composer in residence for the Canberra International Music festival (along side Nick Wales and Bree van Reyk) and was commissioned for two pieces “Sing To Sky” (a site specific piece for the James Turrell Skyspace at NGA) and “Shimmer Shimmer”
Jess is also sought-after music educator and has taught at The Australian Institute of Music, The University of Western Sydney, ANU, CIT, The SIMA Young Women’s Jazz Workshops, and has toured for Musica Viva in Schools for over 10 years.