“Madera’s lyrical and piano-driven songs are passionate and alluring, with a dramatic, ethereal, and almost other-worldly tone.” ~ American Songwriter
“Jesse has a voice as clear and mellifluous as the first songbird of Springtime. Her songs are intoxicatingly hypnotic. Close your eyes, let it all go and listen. When you wake up, the world will look a little brighter.” ~ Robert Earl Keen
Jesse Lynn Madera is a multi-faceted singer-songwriter who weaves a blend of pop, folk, blues, americana and jazz influences into her piano-driven compositions. Her vocals are powerful and haunting in one instant, and light, whimsical and sweet in the next as she moves seamlessly and effortlessly across genres. A brief listen to just a few of her songs - the accordian-driven, colorful and catchy “Hola Papi!"; the melodic, optimistic, acoustic pop song “Revel”; the dramatic virtuosic “Dante” – immediately telegraphs that this is an artist who goes where her muse takes her.
“I love so many genres,” says Madera. “When I sit down at the piano to write, it’s a mixed bag. To me, music is music, and I go with how I’m feeling in that moment. The simple truth of human emotion and experience creates an endless palette. I listen to all kinds of different music and my influences are equally diverse. Inspiration is everywhere!”
Born in West Virginia, Jesse’s childhood years were rooted in music. She lived near her grandparents, self-taught musicians whose 'stage' was either the back-porch or the living room and began playing her grandmother’s upright piano around the time she started walking. Due to a series of job transfers offered to her mother, her family embarked on a number of cross-country moves over a seven-year period that began when Jesse was just four years old. These moves helped her develop a rich interior world and led her to songwriting at an early age. “Music kept me company. It became my passion
and best friend.”
By the time she was 11 years old, her family moved to Houston where she would remain until she graduated from the famed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Following graduation, she studied classical theatre for a year in a conservatory program led by renowned director Gerald Freedman at North Carolina School of the Arts before enrolling in New York University’s acclaimed “Tisch School of the Arts” to study theatre. Before graduating in 2004, she auditioned for and was accepted into an experimental theatre program in Amsterdam. After graduation, Jesse remained in New York and turned her full attention to music. Holding down a number of jobs so she could hone her craft, she was eventually booked at venues like The Bitter End, Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall, Cutting Room, Highline Ballroom and was in the cast of a NY Times reviewed musical.
Meeting her future husband, Hemky Madera, in 2010 was the prompt to move to Los Angeles. Although her musical career was never entirely put on hold, Jesse did focus on raising her first two sons, George and Jack, while continuing to write. In 2020, she released her debut record, Fortunes, which had a strong impact on fans and critics alike. From the captivating string arrangements by one-man orchestra Stevie Blacke (Olivia Rodrigo, Pink, Rihanna, Chris Stapleton), to Jesse’s compelling lyrical storytelling (labeled “Cohen-esque” by one writer), Fortunes, cemented Jesse’s place in the music industry as an up-and-coming artist of note.
She is currently at work on a new album from which two singles, “Revel” and “¡Hola Papi!” have already been released. Whether performing solo on the piano or with her entire band, Jesse’s live performances have earned her a devoted following in Los Angeles and New York City. The Maderas presently reside in Nashville with their two sons and a menagerie of four-legged family members.