Folk \ Pop \ Rock
Evelyn Jess is an openly gay female singer/songwriter from the outport town of Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland. Growing up singing in church choirs and Lions Clubs, she dreamed of bigger stages and brighter lights. She taught herself how to play guitar in her early teens and soon hit the road.
Inspired by strong female performers like Cher and Stevie Nicks, Jess is determined to achieve her dream of being a professional musician. Together with her life partner, tattoo artist, Bridget Bourgeois, Jess worked hard for years, the Newfoundland way, at grueling out-of-province seasonal jobs: Summers spent picking apples and blueberries in Nova Scotia, and flagging on dusty roads and dangerous construction sites in punishing winds and rain, so that during the off-season, they could both return home to pursue their artistic endeavors. Happily, Jess and Bourgeois have built their careers to a point where they no longer have to be away, and now have the pleasure to call Kelligrews, Conception Bay South their permanent home. It’s been a long hard road, but Evelyn Jess is excited to start the next leg of her journey.
Jess has developed a style that is easy listening, while tackling big ideas and challenging norms. Her quirky, heartfelt songs cover everything from her struggles with mental health to the disappearance of the Canadian penny. In May 2018, Evelyn Jess received national attention when she penned a response song to the controversy in Springdale, Newfoundland when the local high school GSA’s request for a rainbow crosswalk for the LGBT+ community was denied several times by the town council. As an LGBT+ activist, Jess wrote and produced a parody video to world famous drag queen RuPaul’s song Sissy That Walk and entitled her version Paint the Crosswalk. The video received 40 000+ views on Facebook and sparked fiery debate on social media.
As a solo artist, Jess has had the pleasure of singing alongside Juno Award Winner, Serena Ryder, and in June 2018, was the winner of the Amelia Earhart Songwriting Competition. A hot summer’s night saw the recent formation of hard partying power trio Evelyn Jess + The Hot Mess. Joining her is St. John’s music scene staple, Jordan Young on Bass (The Cartridge Family, The Beach B’ys, The Blue Mood) and drummer Becca Spurrell (of local shoegaze indie rock band Centrefold).
Jess is finally living her life-long dream of being a professional musician. Many people have dreams – Evelyn Jess has a plan.