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Jesse Lewis
April 4, 2015In the studio with Bryan and the AardvarksI'm up at the beautiful Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY recording Bryan's long awaited sequel today! This is some seriously intergalactic music. What a band!!! Fabian Almazon, Chris Dingman, Dayna Stephens, Camelia Mesa, Joe Nero, and the man himself...Bryan Copeland check http://www.bryanandtheaardvarks.com/ for more info
December 23, 2014Atticus Live Concert February 12th @ Shapeshifter Lab just announced!On Thursday, February 12 Kyle Saulnier's "Awakening Orchestra" and I will perform Kyle's big band arrangments of my enire "Atticus" album from start to finish. Be sure not to miss this rare performance of Atticus! Show @ 7:30pm
September 30, 2014In the studio with Peter Eldridge!I'm so excited to be in the studio today working on Peter Eldridge's new album. Ben Whitman is producing...so you know it's going to sound great! More details soon...
September 28, 2014Welcome to the new and improved JesseLewisMusic.com!Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for all kinds of exciting news and don't forget to check the calendar page to find out where I'm playing next!
"Rebirthing the cool in the 21st century, Jesse Lewis is flipping the script on jazz for a whole new generation," writes Australian music critic Jeremy Balius (Fly Global Music). Hailed as “an articulate ace” (NY Times) and a “poet of the steel string” (Stereophile Magazine), New York City based guitarist Jesse Lewis is a first call collaborator with the finest musicians in the world.

Known as an extremely versatile and eclectic artist, Lewis’ distinctive sound can be heard on a wide variety of projects crossing through the worlds of jazz, world music, pop, and electronica.

Lewis performs at major music festivals and clubs all over the world and works regularly in New York City at the Blue Note, Birdland, Smalls, Joe’s Pub, and 55 Bar, and has performed at legendary venues such as Town Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Born in Boston, Lewis was first drawn to the guitar in high school through the music of rock groups like Nirvana, the Ramones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin; and later, after hearing artists like Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, and John Scofield, he began playing jazz music.

Wanting to learn more about the tradition and where jazz music originated, Lewis moved to New Orleans and studied with guitar marvel, Steve Mazakowski at the University of New Orleans. During his seven years in "the birthplace of jazz,” Lewis released his debut album Jesse Lewis Union (Lakefront Digital) which garnered critical acclaim. During those years, he also collaborated with many of the biggest names in New Orleans, including Nicolas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, Johnny Vidocovich, Stanton Moore, and Jason Marsalis.

In 2002, Lewis moved to New York City, where he finished his degree at the Manhattan School of Music, and quickly began performing and recording with some of the City's finest creative jazz musicians, including Chris Potter, Dave Binney, Mark Turner, Ingrid Jensen, Aaron Parks, Donny McCaslin, Anat Cohen, Chris Speed, Joel Frahm, Louis Bonilla, Bill Goodwin, Dick Oatts, John Riley, and Matt Wilson.

In April of 2008 Lewis released his highly anticipated sophomore recording, Atticus. On this recording Lewis explored new sonic possibilities and blended jazz, rock, and electronic music.

Lewis' unique and eclectic style has also been utilized by a wide variety of artists outside of the instrumental jazz world, such as Grammy Award winning R&B sensation Chrisette Michele; African music legends Chiwoniso and Sam Mtukudzi; EDM superstar Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic; and Motown Legends Little Anthony and the Imperials. Lewis has also worked with many legendary jazz vocalists including the New York Voices, Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer), and recently he worked on Taking Pictures, the new album by singer/songwriter Jo Lawry, which features Sting.

Jesse Lewis enthusiastically endorses D'Addario strings and Planet Waves products.

as a LEADER


Jesse LewisAtticus2008I’m so proud of the way that this album sounds and it was such a blast to record. Producer Joseph Davancens and I took three months writing and tracking the music. We recorded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at Joe’s friend’s amazing studio; with access to just about every instrument imaginable, we were like kids in a candy store. Joe and Dana Nielsen mixed the album at the Hangar Studios in Sacramento, California. Obed Calvaire, Rohin Khemani, and Jon Irabagon also added their unique musical talents to the project.
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Jesse LewisJesse Lewis Union2002This was my first album as a leader, recorded over two days at the Word of Mouth Studios in New Orleans and features nine of my original compositions. It was an exciting session. The group included my closest musician friends at the time, and Brian Seeger did a beautiful job producing the album. This recording features some outstanding playing from Deric Douget, Scott Bourgious, James Alsanders, and Andrew Baham. It also happens to be Jason Marsalis' first recording as a vibraphonist.
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as a SIDEMAN


Jo LawryTaking Pictures2015Jo Lawry is an ultra talented vocalist and songwriter who is best known for her work with Sting and Paul Simon. When I first started working with her in 2011, her music was much more jazz based, and it involved lots of improvising (check out her first album, "i want to be happy" to get an idea.) Jo is fearless and has tons of technique, and she has great ears too. More recently she has been exploring songwriting, and her new album, “Taking Pictures,” showcases ten of Jo’s original songs. The songs are all very strong and the music still taps into a jazz aesthetic, but it goes in much more of a “pop” direction. The core rhythm section of Matt Aronoff, Dan Rieser, and I had a blast coming up with our parts together. Dave Kowalski masterfully recorded the main tracks over four days at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn. Jo and Will Vinson produced the album and added all kinds of amazing sounds afterwards. The album features some fantastic trumpet playing from Nadje Noordhuis and a beautiful duet with Jo and Sting!
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DUCHESSDUCHESS2015DUCHESS is a super swinging and really fun vocal jazz trio comprised of Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and Melissa Stylianou. Their tight vocal harmonies are in the tradition of vocal groups like the Boswell Sisters, but Duchess has created a sound all of their own. Producer Oded Lev-Ari put together a wonderful group for this session at Sear Sound. The core rhythm section of pianist Michael Cabe, bassist Paul Sikivie, and drummer Matt Wilson swing like crazy; and saxophonist Jeff Lederer’s soulful and energetic playing takes the album to the next level.
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MOAMaverick2014This is my 3rd recording of Max Wild's and it’s a huge departure from his last two. Max, who is an alto saxophonist, has moved away from performing with a live band into the world of producing electronic dance music where he goes by the alias, MOA. Max brought in some great live musicians to collaborate with him. I played electric guitar on most of the tracks and Michael Olatuja and Obed Calvaire (who also produced the album) added some super funky bass and drums. The Zimbabwean mbira legend Chiwoniso added her unique talents to the project as well. Sadly, this was Chiwoniso’s last recording project and passed away before the album was finished. I learned so much from Chiwoniso and will always miss playing music with her and getting to hear her infectious laugh.
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Amy CerviniJazz Country2014The vocalist Amy Cervini, the bassist Matt Aronoff, and I started playing the music on this recording back in 2007. The music developed naturally over the seven years leading up to this recording session and I’m really glad that Amy waited so long to record this project. By the time we got to Sear Sound to record we were so tight as a trio that the music was effortless to record. With about 6 mics on my Martin acoustic, it sounds amazing! Amy brought in some wonderful guests to augment the trio – Anat Cohen, Nadje Noordhuis, Marty Ehrlich, and Gary Versace, and the vocalist Nellie McKay all play beautifully.
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Beat KaestliCollage2014Beat Kaestli is a virtuosic vocalist with a warm sophistication and I was thrilled to work on this album. Born in Switzerland but based in NYC, Beat created a French theme for this recording. Almost all of the music is sung in French and the core of the band sound is acoustic guitar and accordion (played beautifully by Will Holshouser.) Matt Wigton and Fred Kennedy added bass and drums on a few tracks and the wonderful Clarice Assad and Elizabeth Lohninger added back-up vocals as well. This is a really catchy and enjoyable album to listen to.
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Deric DickensThe Dickens Campaign "Oh Lovely Appearance"2013Deric Dickens is a super swinging drummer who is equally at home whether laying down a groove or playing free. He phoned me and the cornetist Kirk Knuffke to play a session and from the first note we had such a strong musical connection. Deric’s idea was to improvise off of transcriptions from Alan Lomax field recordings. It was a brilliant idea and a great challenge too. We recorded at Maggie’s Farm out in rural Pennsylvania. Watching the deer run around the pond right outside the studio windows provided the perfect setting for what we were doing.
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Amy CerviniDigging Me Digging You2012Amy Cervini is a soulful singer who has a way of interpreting songs in a simple yet sophisticated way that always moves the listener. She’s also one of the most “laid back” vocalists I’ve worked with and we made this entire album in one day. Totally old school: Everybody in the same room, no overdubs! I had an epiphany at this session. I was concerned about my sound bleeding into other people’s microphones and when I asked the engineer James Farber about it he said, “You just get comfortable with your sound! Let me worry about everything else.” I've felt much more confident in the studio ever since he gave me that piece of advice! Amy put together an AMAZING group for this one featuring Bruce Barth, Avishai Cohen, Anat Cohen, Jeremy Udden, Josh Sinton, James Shipp, and Matt Wilson!
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Soren MollerResume2012I met the Danish pianist Soren Moller in 2002 when we attended Manhattan School of Music together. We became close friends and made a lot of music together while touring with Max Wild’s band. I was honored when Soren asked me to make a guest appearance on this recording. The album was recorded beautifully by Paul Wickliffe at Skyline Pro and features Soren’s fantastic trio – Luques Curtis on bass and Henry Cole at the drums. Soren had me play on the track “Rain” and asked me to rock out as hard as I could…and I had a lot of fun trying.
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Michael WebsterMomentus2012Michael Webster assembled a group of close friends and musical collaborators for the rhythm section on this project and it was such a blast to make. Chris Dingman, Jared Schonig, Ike Sturm, and I all play together so often that we get as close to telepathy as I’ve ever come. Joining us was the fabulous trumpet player Ingrid Jensen who always takes the music to a whole other level. Mike was going through a hard time personally during this recording and we all surprised him by growing mustaches for the session to cheer him up. Totally Hilarious!!!
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Jon IrabagonOutright! Unhinged2012Jon Irabagon is an incredible musician who has gained a lot of attention since winning the 2008 Thelonius Monk Competition. This is my second appearance on one of Jon’s recordings. Outright! (2007) had me as a featured soloist but on this recording I joined up with the Outright choir and made some seriously crazy music with at least 30 other improvisers. Jon has an amazing sense of humor which really comes through on “Silent Smile (Urban Love Song)” If you’re looking for a sound that you’ve probably never hear before, look no further...
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Brian AdlerHelium Music Project2012Brian Adler is a wonderful drummer and percussionist. We’ve worked together as sidemen on many other projects and I was thrilled when he asked me to record on this album. The Helium Music Project is a compilation of 13 tracks, each one using a different group of musicians. The album includes some of my favorite improvisers like Ben Monder, Kate McGarry, and Carmen Staaf. I recorded on the song “Up in the Air,” which features Matt Holman on trumpet, Ruben Samama on bass, and the vibraphonist Bryan Carrott.
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The Oulipians featuring Chanda Rule and Donny McCaslinFeelin' Good - A Tribute to Nina Simone2010Recorded in Brooklyn, this album was put together by the Austrian drummer Gernot Bernroider. It features his imaginative arrangements of Nina Simone’s book. I didn’t know a lot about Simone’s music and it was cool getting to learn more about about it. The album features Chanda Rule, a powerhouse vocalist who straddles the line between jazz and gospel music, and also features superb playing from Grammy winner Donny McCaslin whose solos always leave me breathless. Alejandro Aviles and Ike Sturm round out the band.
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Jeremy NollerMusic Notes2010Jeremy Noller is an incredibly versatile and swinging drummer who has immersed himself in the study of rhythms from West Africa. Jeremy put together a great band (Dan Loomis on bass and Brian Van Arsdale on sax) to audition for “The Rhythm Road,” a State Department sponsored tour that brings American musicians to remote parts of the world to perform and teach. We didn’t get the gig but the band stayed together and the result is this album, which fuses jazz improvisation with West African rhythms. I played my Martin OM18-v on all of the tracks. The West African percussion virtuoso Mangue Sylla contributes his talents on several tracks.
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Max WildTamba2010This album was an epic production that spanned multiple continents and brought together musicians from all over the world. Max plays beautifully on this album and the music taps into both his love of jazz and his roots growing up in Zimbabwe. The core rhythm section of myself, Danish pianist Soren Moller, drummer Obed Calvaire, and Nigerian born bassist Michael Olatuja meets Zimbabwean music legends Sam Mtukutzi and Chiwoniso. Both Sam and Chiwoniso tragically have passed away since this recording was made. I learned so much about music and life from both of them and will always cherish the times I had performing and touring Africa with them and my other bandmates.
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Kelley SuttenfieldWhere is Love?2009Kelley Suttenfield is a swinging singer with a warm and beautiful voice. She brought me in to play electric guitar and do some arranging for this session. The wonderful nylon string guitarist Tony Romano also plays on this recording along with Brian Adler, Michael Cabe, Matt Aronoff. I had a blast working on this one!
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Suresh SingaratnamLost in New York2009Suresh Singaratnam is a fabulous musician, composer, and one of the most virtuosic trumpet players I’ve ever played with! This album was recorded over two days at Bennett Studios. I used two distortion pedals on this recording – A Robert Keeley modified Boss Super overdrive and a Keeley Ibanez Tube screamer. I have to say…the distortion sounds pretty huge. Suresh assembled an awesome band and we had a ton of fun recording this music. It features some beautiful playing from Jake Saslow, Lee Pearson, Fraser Hollins, Charenée Wade, and Fabian Almazan.
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Alexis ColeThe Greatest Gift2009Alexis Cole is a classic and classy jazz vocalist and this session was really a pleasure. We recorded it in just one day at System Two Studios in Brooklyn. It was a treat to make a Christmas Album and she put together an All Star Band for this session – Don Braden, Warren Chiasson, Fred Kennedy, Ike Sturm, and Jon Cowherd. The Grammy award winning trombonist, Alan Ferber did arrangements and some beautiful orchestrations too. Totally smokin!!!
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Brenda EarleSongs for a New Day2009Brenda Earle is a talented jazz singer, pianist, and she writes wonderful songs too. This album was recorded in Brooklyn at Systems Two Studios and features some wonderful playing by the fabulous rhythm section Brenda put together for this session. This group would later would become the core of the collective group, STORM! This was the first of many sessions that Ike Sturm, Jared Schonig, and I would do together. Joel Frahm adds some amazing solos!
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Jon IrabagonOutright!2008Jon Irabagon is a musical force and all-around amazing guy. We were roommates in Queens after college and developed a lot of music together during those formative years. I was honored that he featured me as a special guest soloist on the track “That was Then.” His band was smoking - Eivind Opsvik (bass) Jeff Davis (drums) Russ Johnson (trumpet) and Kris Davis (piano). We recorded at Systems Two Studios in Brooklyn and I don’t think they were quite ready for the hang that ensued when Jon invited all of his friends (Original Outright! Jazz Band) into the studio to simultaneously play on the last song…and drink a lot of Heineken. Hilarious!
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Adam Niewood & His Rabble RousersEpic Journey: Volumes 1 & 22008This was a memorable recording session. Adam brought the band out to Paul Wickliffe’s beautiful Skyline Studios in rural New Jersey for an epic weekend of recording. The result is this unique two CD set. The first disc features nine of Adam’s compositions and the second disc is all “free” playing. Adam had two drummers (Rohin Khemani and Greg Ritchie), two bassists (Matt Brewer and Chris Higgins) plus the virtuosic Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu. In between studio days we hung at Adam’s childhood home and laughed more than I can ever remember laughing in my life. The music on this album really reflects the great vibe from that fun weekend!
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The PaisliesThe Paislies2007This album captures the unique way that this “collective” played music and I’m extremely proud of how it sounds. We recorded this album in Brooklyn for the Fresh Sound New Talent label and it features fantastic playing from Samir Zarif, Paul Wiltgen, Eliot Cardineax, Perry Wortman, and Miro Sprague. Brian Seeger did an admirable job both producing and mixing.
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ID TrioID trio + 12006Recorded as a live radio broadcast by George Graham at the WVIA studio, this nine-song release features the amazing ID Trio – Adam Niewood on saxes, Noah Jarret on bass, and Rohin Khemani on drums. The trio added me in as a guest and later this group became the Adam Niewood Quartet.
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Mel FlanneryMel Flannery Trucking Co.2006Mel Flannery is a talented singer/songwriter and has a really fine voice. This was her first album and she did an impressive job. My favorite track is “Lili/Circus Song” arranged by Seth Fruiterman. Recorded in Brooklyn, Mel put together a great band – Matt Aronoff on bass and Rohin Khemani on drums.
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Sherisse Rodgers's Project UprisingSleight of Hand2005Sherisse Rodgers is one of the most amazing composers I have ever worked with and it was a blast working on this one. Using Systems Two Studios in Brooklyn for a two-day recording session, Sherrise assembled a great cast of characters for her debut album. If you like burning sax playing you will enjoy some amazing solos from Donny McCaslin, Joel Frahm, and soprano sax legend Dave Liebman.
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Michael WebsterLeading Lines2005Michael Webster is a fantastic saxophonist and composer who I met at Manhattan School of Music. Leading Lines is his ambitious "chamber jazz" recording featuring a nonet plus strings. This album was recorded in Brooklyn and I had so much fun playing with this great rhythm section. Mike’s brother Gordon Webster plays piano with Obed Calvaire on drums, and John Benitez on the bass. The album features some beautiful trumpet solos from Mike Rodriguez, too.
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Roland Satterwhite & Benedek BandLove & Discipline2005Roland Satterwhite is a wonderful singer/songwriter who I worked with back when I first moved to New York. His songs are beautiful, creative, and he writes wonderful lyrics. We used to play a lot at the Living Room and had a residency Rockwood Music Hall when it first opened. Roland recorded this album in his apartment in Washington Heights. Check out the band’s pianist Matt Kanelos, who is also an astonishing singer/songwriter.
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Max WildZambezi Sunset2004This was a fun session recorded over 2 days at Sear Sound in NYC and my first recording session in New York City after moving there from New Orleans. It was very cool to get to hang with the legendary engineer Walter Sear and watch him work. This record features Max's melodic compositions for his quintet. A native of Zimbabwe, Max beautifully combines African and Jazz music and the result is a truly unique sound. The band, which featured Obed Calvaire, Fraser Hollins, and Soren Moller, toured extensively together and had many great times!
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Andrew BahamIntroducing...2002Andrew Baham is one of New Orleans’ finest trumpet players and this album nicely represents a group of musicians who played a weekly gig together at the Funky Butt, one of New Orleans’ great jazz clubs. The personnel are essentially the members of the "James Alsanders Jazz Project." James plays drums on this album which also features Aaron Fletcher, Jesse McBride, Samir Zarif, and Brian Coogan.
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Michael JennerThe Michael Jenner Group2002Michael is a terrific tenor saxophonist and the word’s nicest guy. He assembled a close group of musical collaborators for this session and the music represents that well. This album was recorded at Word of Mouth Studio in New Orleans and features some great playing from Brian Coogan, Brian Seeger, Simon Lott, and Mark Diflorio .
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Albert-AnkrumAlbert-Ankrum Project2001Albert-Ankrum Project was a special recording for me, as it was the first album I was ever asked to play on. Recorded in 2001 in New Orleans, it features compositions from saxophonist Larry Ankrum and trombonist Jeff Albert, and includes some great playing from drummer Ricky Sebastian. The guitar legend (and my teacher) Steve Masakowski also makes and appearance on this album.
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Coming soon...

Upcoming Performances

Thursday, May 28, 2015
with the Deric Dickens Campaign
Ibeam
Brooklyn, NY
http://www.dericdickens.com/

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Sunday, May 31, 2015
with the Sara Caswell Quartet
55 Bar
New York, NY
with Sara Caswell, Ike Sturm, and Jared Schonig

http://saracaswell.com/

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Thursday, June 4, 2015
with Amy Cervini
55 Bar
New York, NY

http://amycervini.com/

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Sunday, June 21, 2015
with the Tony Kadleck Big Band
SubCulture
New York, New York

http://tonykadleck.com/

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015
with Bryan and the Aardvarks
Shapeshifter Lab
Brooklyn, NY

http://www.bryanandtheaardvarks.com/

For booking or other general inquiries please contact:
Email: Jesse@JesseLewisMusic.com

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Jesse's Albums

PUBLICITY PHOTOS


IN ACTION


TEACHING


JUST FOR FUN


Matt Wilson, Ted Nash and Jesse Lewis - Live at New York Winter Jazz Festival 2014 @ ZINC BARJanuary 11, 2014 During a week long Jazz Festival Produced by WBGO, Matt WIlson, Ted Nash and Jesse Lewis came together at ZINC bar to play an energized free...viewshare
Frim Fram Sauce - Live at 55 Barwith Amy Cervini's "Jazz Country"viewshare
Live in Oslo with Ike Sturm BandIke Sturm's "Jazz Mass" performed Live in Norwayviewshare
Live from Joe's Pub - YouTubeMaking music with Amy Cervini, Anat Cohen, Matt Arinoff, and Matt Wilson. Fun!!!viewshare
Jesse is currently available for private instruction, masterclasses/workshops, and guest appearances. For more information please contact: jesse@jesselewismusic.com

In addition to maintaining a private studio of talented young guitarists and being on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege, Jesse is the Coordinator of the Guitar Program at the New York Summer Music Festival. He has also worked with the New York Pops' "Create a Symphony" program, Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, and has given music clinics overseas on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. He has over 15 years of teaching experience.

Jesse has given Masterclasses and Workshops at many of the world's leading music schools such as Eastman Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music in London, Humber University in Canada, University of New Orleans, and the University of Maputo in Mozambique.

Jesse holds a degree from the Manhattan School of Music.