Jessy J

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Jessy J
Jessy J in 2009
Jessy J in 2009
Background information
Birth nameJessica Arellano
Born (1982-12-20) December 20, 1982 (age 38)
Portland, Oregon
Years active2001–present
LabelsPeak, Heads Up, Concord, Shanachie
Associated actsJoe Sample, Harvey Mason, Ray Parker Jr., Norman Brown, Gregg Karukas, Paul Brown

Jessica Arellano (born December 20, 1982) known professionally as Jessy J, is an American saxophonist.


Jessy J was born Jessica Arellano on December 20, 1982 in Portland, Oregon and raised in Hemet, California.[1][2][3] Of Mexican-American descent, her father is from Mexico and her mother is a native Texan. She began playing piano at the age of four.[4] At the age of 15, at the Béla Bartók Festival,[5] she won the Piano State Championship.[4] She also played saxophone in state honored bands, such as the Grammy Band, and played internationally in festivals like the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Earning a scholarship to University of Southern California,[6] she obtained a degree in jazz studies and was named the "Most Outstanding Jazz Student". After graduating from USC, she worked in the studio with Michael Bublé.[7][8] She toured with The Temptations, Jessica Simpson, Michael Bolton, and Seal.[7][9] Jessy J performed on their twice GRAMMY® nominated album Elevation as a member of the Henry Mancini Jazz Orchestra.[4][7] Jessy has performed on the hit television competition shows "American Idol" "The Voice" and "Dancing With the Stars." The year Steven Tyler was a judge on "Idol," he was so impressed with her performances that he invited her to play on Aerosmith's 2012 album Music From Another Dimension.[10]

Prior to being a studio musician and touring as a jazz artist, Jessy J performed in the casts of Mason Entertainment Group's Off-Broadway shows Shockwave, Cyberjam, and M.I.X. She performed not only as a saxophonist and singer but also as an actress and dancer. Touring with Mason Entertainment led her across the US, the United Kingdom, and Japan.[11]

Jessy J's recording career began after producer/guitarist Paul Brown listened to her demo and gave her a spot on his tour. She soon began making solo appearances. Her first major solo performance was at the Catalina JazzTrax Festival in 2006.[12] Soon afterward, she and Paul Brown were in the studio recording her first album, Tequila Moon.

Since beginning her career, she has toured with other jazz artists, such as Jeff Lorber,[13] Jeff Golub,[14] Euge Groove,[15] Paul Brown, and Gerald Albright.[16] In 2008/2009, she toured as a part of the Guitars & Saxes tour. In 2010 she Toured with Norman Brown[17] and Brenda Russell in the Summer Storm Jazz tour.[18]

Jessy J has built up a Latin following, lending her hand in Hispanic music programs and performing with the Hispanic Musician Association Orchestra.[19] In 2006 Jessy J was hand selected by Paquito D'Rivera to perform at Carnegie Hall as part of the Latin Jazz Project featuring the "Rising Stars of Tomorrow".[4] She has also worked in Mexico with artists Gloria Trevi[20] (known as the Madonna of Mexico), Armando Manzanero (whom she calls "the Mancini of Mexico"), Grammy Nominated singer Cristian Castro,[21] Rock of Ages star Diego Boneta, and Sheila E.[22][23]

Her song "Tequila Moon" hit the #1 spot on the Billboard chart for Jazz.[24] Her song "Tropical Rain", from her 2009 release, reached the top of the Groove Jazz Music[25] chart and also took the #1 spot on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown,[26] as well as the R&R and Billboard Jazz charts.

In 2008, Jessy J was named Radio & Records "Debut Artist of the Year". She also received the "Contemporary Jazz Song of the Year" award from R&R and Billboard for her song "Tequila Moon". Also that year, she was featured on the cover of the May issue of Jazziz Magazine.[27] In 2009, she was on the October cover of Saxophone Journal and Latina Style Magazine.[28]

In 2011, Jessy's album Hot Sauce debuted at number one on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart and was featured in People Espanol and Latina magazine. The album includes performances by Jazz Legends Joe Sample, Harvey Mason, and Ray Parker Jr.[29]

In 2014, Jessy was invited by producer Gerry Gallagher to record with Latin rock legends El Chicano as well as Alphonse Mouzon, Brian Auger, Alex Ligertwood, Ray Parker Jr., Vikki Carr, David Paich, Siedah Garrett, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Lenny Castro, Salvador Santana, Marcos J. Reyes, Pete Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo and is featured on saxophone on a cover of a Selena song "Thinking Of You" that is part of Gallagher's most recent studio album due out in 2019.


Jessy J performing in 2013
  • 2008 Song of the Year, "Tequila Moon", Billboard, Radio and Records
  • 2008 Debut Artist of the Year, Radio and Records, Jazztrax
  • 2009 No. 1 Song, "Tropical Rain", Billboard
  • 2010 ASCAPlus Writing Award, American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP)
  • 2011 ASCAPLUS Writing Award, ASCAP
  • 2011 No.1 Album Hot Sauce, Billboard Jazz charts
  • 2013 Second Chances #2 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums
  • 2016 California Christmas #3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums[citation needed]

*ASCAPLUS AWARD is a monetary award given to writers that are early on in their career, recognized as being leaders and innovators in the area of writing, performing and giving back to the community. The process of selection includes an in depth application listing all musical works created, performance schedule, and community involvement. Then a panel of Judges in New York evaluates the material submitted and selects the winners.

Television performances[edit]



  1. ^ "Jessy J, by Thomas Erdmann, Saxophone Journal Magazine Jan/Feb 2010" (PDF). Jessy J, Official Homepage, Press.
  2. ^ "Smooth jazz with Jessy J".
  3. ^ "Jessy J | Tequila Moon". April 7, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "Jessy J". Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "Jessy J; VLOG: Growing up in Music- Bartok Piano Competition". March 9, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Jessy J - Concord Music Group". December 10, 2015. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Jessy J" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Jazz Jazz News – Saxist Jessy J Touring with Michael Bolton@". May 9, 2007. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "Saxist Jessy J Touring with Michael Bolton". Archived from the original on October 18, 2007.
  10. ^ "Music from Another Dimension! - Aerosmith | Credits". AllMusic.
  11. ^ "Jessy J Music News & Info". Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  12. ^ "Jessy J Biography – ARTISTdirect Music". Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  13. ^ "Jeff Lorber with Guitars & Saxes: Jessy J & Jeff Golub in Sacramento". February 27, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "Jessy J performs Sin Ti in NC". September 28, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  15. ^ ""Cut The Cake" (guitars and saxes concert jam)". September 20, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  16. ^ "Guitars & Saxes 2008 at the Playboy Jazz festival-Jeff Lorber". June 18, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Jessy J plays "Tequila Moon" w/NORMAN BROWN". December 7, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "Jessy's bio".
  19. ^ "Latinas in the Jazz World". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010.
  20. ^ "Gloria Trevi "La Primera Vez" Live Valentines Day Concert". February 19, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  21. ^ "Cristian Castro w/saxophonista Jessy J". August 25, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "Jazz Monthly Reviews – Jessy J". Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  23. ^ "Backbeat: Bill Cosby Helms His Last Playboy Jazz Festival | Billboard". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  24. ^ "Music Charts, Most Popular Music, Music by Genre & Top Music Charts". Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  25. ^ "Groove Jazz Music". Groove Jazz Music. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  26. ^ "The Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown with Allen Kepler(tm)". September 8, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  27. ^ "Rising star Jessy J – featured on the cover of Jazziz Magazine World Music Issue May, 2008".
  28. ^ "Saxophonist Jessy J Lands on the Cover of Jazz Magazine". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  29. ^ "Jessy J - Hot Sauce [Behind The Scenes". August 15, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  30. ^ "American Idol Video Clips". ABC. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012.
  31. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  32. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  33. ^ "Team Cee Lo Green Flashes Back for Performance of Motown Hit 'Dancing in the Street' on 'The Voice'". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  34. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  35. ^ "Michael Bolton - When A Man Loves A Woman (From "Live at The Royal Albert Hall")". April 14, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  36. ^ "Jessy J performs Tequila Moon on T.V." November 6, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  37. ^ "Jessy J on Telemundo". October 24, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  38. ^ "Jessica Simpson on Good Morning America". August 11, 2004. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  39. ^ "Jessy J Albums and Discography – ARTISTdirect Music". Retrieved March 13, 2011.

External links[edit]