Whether connecting to audiences in small bars, or on festival stages, Jesse Witney shares powerful messages through song. Transporting listeners to their hearts, and back again, he is an independent artist who weaves diverse musical styles into his work.
Jesse’s innate musical understanding and infectious energy see him form dedicated fans wherever in the world he finds himself – whether it be shows in Brazil and Hawaii, intimate house concerts in his home country Australia, or at festivals such as Splendour in the Grass (Australia), Woodford (Australia), East Side Music Days (Germany), and Square & Compass Jazz Festival (UK).
With his list of performing achievements growing, he seeks to remain true to his calling and draw on his ability to create meaningful connections. He is currently working on his first full length album which is being recorded between Australia and Brazil.
Hailing from Gympie – A small Australian town – Jesse’s humble beginnings as the youngest child in a musical household were alive with the sounds of the banjo, clarinet and guitar. And if you came to the house and there was silence, you’d soon hear Jesse dancing around the house singing Britney Spears or The Spice Girls to annoy his dearly beloved.
In high school, after accepting a boy band wasn’t his calling, Jesse formed a punk rock band – aptly named Better Than Britney – before going on to study contemporary music/guitar performance at Southern Cross University in Lismore, New South Wales. It was here he had a chance encounter with a Brazilian guitar. Captivated, Jesse immersed himself in learning the culture. A year later he was in Brazil.
His first visit lasted seven months, marking the beginning of major influences to his musical style and collaborations. He has created Brazilian style bands in cities around the world and sings fluently in Portuguese.
With a thirst for experience, Jesse has travelled and lived in Australia, Europe and South America, creating connections with individuals and cultures, and bringing to life two EPs: Dynamo and Be It.
Be It, which was produced with Phil Stack of Thirsty Merc, took him on tour around Australia. It was in this time that he was recruited to be a contestant on The Voice Australia. Opting to remain an independent artist, he instead busked the streets of Byron Bay, and moved to Berlin.
In Berlin Jesse formed a trio and went on tour around Germany, making important industry contacts with local producers. On a visit back to Australia, he fell from a roof while performing a house concert and escaped with minor injuries. Naturally, he took this poignant experience to write new music, and move to Melbourne.
2020 will see Jesse slow releasing his full length album to Melbourne audiences and beyond.
"One of my favourite voices emerging as an artist in these times" Tubby Love
"Every now and then you find a singer/songwriter that changes your mood every time you see them… they light up the room, indulge your senses, incite wild smiling and leave you buzzing from their good energy…. Jesse Witney is that character for me" – Pete Longworth, 2x New York Independent Film Festival Winner
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt Jesse turned out to be one of the most talented guitar players that I have taught in the 20 years that I have been at the University” Jim Kelly, Crossfire Member, Australian Guitar Legend and University Professor (Southern Cross University)