"Jesse Elder's piano is weird, playing lines that unravel as if from a spindle, and his electric keyboard playing provides a glassy surface for Charles to skate on." – Joe Tangari, Downbeat Magazine, S. E. Charles Quartet CD Review
"The combo can shift in mode or mood with felicity, from beguilingly relaxed to heavy improv to what they call their signature Zen-like 'jazz/rock/chant' (in which Elder, channeling his inner Keith Jarrett or Bill Evans or Barleycorn-era Winwood, envelops a listener in a haunting allegro cascade)." – David Friend, Vanity Fair, Zack Foley Quartet Review
(the pianist, not the karate guy)
"Jesse Elder is a prodigious new voice in modern jazz, and his debut recording displays not only his nonpareil composing talents, but those of a very skilled arranger and performer. The Winding Shell finds him working with kindred spirit drummer Tyshawn Sorey, the much heralded voice of the new Brooklyn sound. These two artists don't confine their music to the jazz vocabulary; they just might be the descendants of Duke Ellington, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Anthony Braxton—three composers mentioned because the music, while experimental and formidable, is quite tuneful and lyrical." – Mark Corroto, AllAboutJazz, "The Winding Shell" CD Review
"In spite of gentrification’s better efforts to scare it off, creative jazz continues to thrive in downtown New York City. And one of the legendary scene’s most impressive young lions is pianist/composer Jesse Elder, whose debut album The Winding Shell is the excellent product of relentless nightly gigging on the Manhattan jazz circuit. 'The Winding Shell' will show you why the likes of John Zorn and Steve Coleman keep Jesse Elder in their phone books." – Ron Hart, PopMatters, "The Winding Shell" CD Review
Jesse Elder is a NYC-based pianist, composer and band leader. He has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada & Europe. He is currently Musical Director for tours with Postmodern Jukebox, with whom he recently performed at Radio City Music Hall, as well as many other well known concert halls. He is also MD for an upcoming European tour with American Idol star Haley Reinhart.
A 4 X ASCAP award winning composer, Jesse frequently leads various ensembles and performs his original work. He has released 3 albums of original material, as well as many music videos. The majority of his work is available on his YouTube channel.
Jesse was recently commissioned by Cirquetacular Entertainment to write a score for a new production, the Art of Circus, which had a very successful preliminary Off-Broadway run in the fall of 2016. The production is now gearing up for international tours. The entire score was recorded by the ensemble, the Synesthetics, and was released by Ropeadope Records.
Jesse and his wife, violinist Blanca Cecilia González, have a duet that performs and records frequently. They primarily focus on Jesse's original music but also delve into other genres such as classical, jazz, free improvisation, and various kinds of folk music.
Jesse has recently been working, in partnership with Carnegie Hall, and in collaboration with vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, on a songwriting workshop both for inmates at Sing Sing Penitentiary, and for teenagers in NYC. He is also a member of Sarah Charles' band, with whom he's recorded 3 records.
Jesse studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin Conservatory & New School University. He currently studies privately with world renowned musician and artist developer, Vera Tisheff. She is able to share profound insight into the process of making music, due to her lifelong experience in the field, which has included collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Cyro Baptiste and many others.