Jess Wayne aka Douglas Jessop, is noted for his thoughtful intimate songs rooted in contemporary folk, Americana, blues and jazz presented with humor and intelligence. Not surprisingly, the songs reflect his wildly curious, renaissance life. Music for those who have lived and know that life is complex, messy, muddy, simple and beautiful. The songs shine with wisdom and honesty distilled slowly and painfully and aged gracefully.
Jess has been performing since the age of four – singing, dancing, acting and playing string instruments for his whole life. His primary instrument, guitar, has been in his hand since he was 11. Starting with folk music, then jazz standards, he soon moved to rock & roll with his successful teen band winning a multi-high school “battle of the bands.” He also acted in every high school play and performed in every talent show. While in college, he performed in a record breaking 10 shows his first year and received an acting scholarship. Ultimately he graduated with an MA in Theater and Dance. After moving to NYC, Jess toured as a professional dancer with several modern dance companies. At 30, he went to Boston College Law School, graduating magna cum laude. For 25 years, he played with “bad bar” bands while becoming a widely sought after lawyer with his own international bankruptcy firm (with its own rehearsal room full of instruments). Besides writing and teaching extensively, Jess was recognized as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” in 2008 and a “Super Lawyer” for several years running. In 2009, however, the guitar refused to let him rest. Jess closed his firm in Denver and went to Musicians Institute in Hollywood. From there he launched a new career as a stage and session guitarist. In 2014 he published his first book of poetry (Before They Were Songs). Still writing songs, Jess released his first album in 2016 followed by tours with his band across the US in both 2016 and 2017. He also was a guest artist at the Flagstaff Folk Festival. In August 2019, Jess is playing the Belladrum Festival in Inverness, Scotland coupled with a European Tour.