Jesse started playing the guitar aged 11. His stepfather Jon Stokes, jazz guitarist and trumpet player, was a formative influence. They spent many hours jamming and learning jazz tunes, the introduction to the basic principles of jazz at a young age was invaluable. Jesse studied A level music at Exeter College where there was a strong emphasis on jazz.
At the Musicians Institute, London, Jesse studied jazz and popular music where there was a high standard of playing and teaching. Jesse has had lessons from some of the country’s finest jazz guitarists including Mike Outram, Dave Cliff and Dominic Ashworth and still devotes a large amount of time to practice and improvement. Jesse has also performed with Mike Outram who has recently moved to the southwest.
Jesse has worked in pit bands for several musicals including We Will Rock You, Jesus Christ Superstar, Footloose, Cats and Our House.
Jesse teaches guitar at several schools and colleges and has helped teach on jazz workshops around the Southwest.