Ms. Jessica spent her youth in pigtails amongst the tall grasses of midwestern America surrounded by a family of artists, poets, musicians, teachers and other such social activists. She played and sang in several absolutely obscure local music projects in her Midwestern home including composing music for dances pieces, submissions to local music compilations and recording two albums of her own music before packing her knapsack and setting out to see the world. Off and on, she has made her home in Seattle Washington where she has had the fortune to know and play with a great many extremely talented artists, the most recent being the members of Zazou.
Included in her many musical experiences are opening for Beausoleil in St. Louis Missouri, playing with the Big Mess Blues Band at the Jazz Festival in New Orleans, opening for Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs in Key West Florida, traveling and busking the highways and byways of America and Europe, backing the legendary Baby Gramps with Hugh Sutton in Baby Gramps and the Crutch Kickers on several occasions including at Bumbershoot with Baby Gramps and Greg Brown, accompanying the cacophony of Kultur Shock favorite Smokeshack Okiestraw (see Johnny Calcagno's bio) and much more. In addition to working in Zazou, she has recently been a part of the stage production and sound recoridng of the original rock opera, Joe Bean. In her travels she has had the opportunity to hear and participate in many types of music such as Blues and Jazz in New Orleans, Bluegrass and Fiddle music in Appalachia, Hungarian dance music in Hungary, French Musette in France and more.
Ms. Jessica and Ryan Hoffman dreamed up Zazou while living in Montpellier, France. Ms. Jessica’s love of French and the dramatic quality of the language coupled with her passion for singing make the “chanson Française” an obvious choice. Zazou takes its inspiration from several genres, the Jazz Manouche of northern Europe, American Jazz and Blues, French Café music, Latin pop songs and other folk traditions. Ms. Jessica finds the European gypsy melodies that create Manouche Swing Jazz and Bal Musette to be an exciting amalgamation of musical influences from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa and America. Zazou also draws inspiration from American and European Jazz. Jazz has a long and rich history of drawing from global influences and encouraging personal self-expression through innovation and improvisation that has captured people’s imagination for decades around the world. Zazou is pleased to be a small part of this great tradition.