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Jesse Shafer

Professional Experience

Jesse is a composer, jazz guitarist, producer, and session musician based in Los Angeles, CA. He began his career through the grassroots and DIY local music scene in Charleston, SC playing original music, as a hired member of various groups and playing jazz standards for restaurants and events. As time has gone on, Jesse has transitioned further into a career of recording work - playing multiple instruments on recordings for various artists and composing and producing folk, jazz, experimental, ambient and chamber music. Jesse is a current Master's of Guitar Performance student at Musician's Institute where he also works as a teaching assistant. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston music program with an emphasis in jazz performance - though he spent much time studying composition. Jesse has recorded for Sunnyside Records, his own label, Glass Sandbox Records, is an ASCAP affiliate and manages his own publishing. Likewise, Jesse is a certified luthier having studied with Chris Brinson at the Custom Vibrations School of Luthiery.

Currently, Jesse just finished composing a chamber work for the summer festival at Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece. His piece "In Flux", received 3rd prize in the festival's composition competition. Likewise, Jesse recorded a septet album of original jazz compositions that will be released on March 24th. Jesse is actively playing in the groups Crisis Actress, Inn Vinegar, Bird Tuth, Sjobeck, and Kovei

Background and Personal Life

Jesse was born in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1999 to Mark Shafer and Kim Keelor. Shortly after, the family (including his brother Justin) relocated to Nashville, TN. During his childhood, he was constantly surrounded by music and began playing guitar at the age of 6. A few years after, he began writing music with the idea that writing and playing music should have no separation. During his early years, Jesse played in bands with his friends and gave a few small performances. Likewise, Jesse's stepfather introduced him to unfamiliar music and exposed him to avant-garde, rock, and art music artists such as Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Tom Waits who are three of his largest influences. Jesse attended many amazing concerts as a child that fueled his desire to pursue a career in music. Following the historic flood of 2010 in Nashville, Jesse and his family relocated to Charleston, SC. At this time he found like minded musicians who introduced him to Jazz. During his teenage years, he began playing locally in the Charleston area. At age 18 he enrolled at the College of Charleston to study Jazz Performance. During this time, Jesse grew his network and studied with world-class musicians. Likewise, he grew fond of jazz, especially the likes of guitarists Bill Frisell, Jim Hall and Les Paul.

Full Discography (Chronologically)

"Duets" (EP) - Jesse Shafer, 2018 - Glass Sandbox Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"The Night Bus" (EP) - Jesse Shafer, 2018 - Glass Sandbox Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"Mulberry Collective Volume 1" - The Mulberry Collective, 2018 - Mull Records

"Chop the Apple Tree" (Full Length) - Jesse Shafer, 2019 - Glass Sandbox Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"Greed" (Full Length) - Jesse Shafer, 2020 - Glass Sandbox Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"Rooibos" (Full Length) - The Rooibos Quartet, 2021 - Sunnyside Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"CMH Stage Sessions Volume 1" (Live Album) - Invisible Low End Power - *Limited Vinyl Run Only

"Live at Awendaw Green" (Live Album) - Jesse Shafer, 2021 - Glass Sandbox Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"Pastel Places" - Inn Vinegar - Glass Sandbox Records, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

'Here, Nowhere (Official Motion Picture Soundtrack), Glass Sandbox Records

"String Trio No. 1" - Jesse Shafer - Community-Fusion Network, Glass Sandbox Publishing (ASCAP)

"In Flux" - Jesse Shafer (YouTube only)

"A Warm Spoon for Cold Soup" - Jesse Shafer, Glass Sandbox Records

"Land of the Wunderkind" - Jesse Shafer, Glass Sandbox Records

"It's Free - You Might as Well Listen" - Jesse Shafer, Glass Sandbox Records

"Where the Fields Run Away" - Jesse Shafer, Glass Sandbox Records

"Party Rock" - Crisis Actress, Big Things Poppin'

"Caught in the Act" - McCarthy Fitch, Glass Sandbox Records

Session Work:

Countless Student recording sessions as Musicians Institute faculty

Solar Punches - Electric Guitar - "The Qualm Factory" (EP) - 2019 Rod Iron Records

Nathan and Eva - Pedal Steel 

Watson Village - Pedal Steel 

Hannah O - Electric Guitar

Gaston Wendler - Electric Guitar

Weston Mize - Electric Guitar

John O'Brien Music - Pedal Steel

Gaston Wendler - Electric Guitar

Hi Hungry - Pedal Steel

Ian Schultz - film - HERE, NOWHERE - full production and all instruments

Autumn Pryor - Pedal Steel

McCarthy Fitch - Electric Guitar


Inn Vinegar - "Up and Coming Band of the Year" 2019 - Nominee - Charleston City Paper

Inn Vinegar - "Jazz Artist of the Year" - 2021 - Nominee - Charleston City Paper

Inn Vinegar - "Jazz Band of the Year" - 2021 - Nominee - Charleston City Paper

Jesse Shafer - "2nd Place in String Division" - King's Peak Composition Competition

The Rooibos Quartet - "Sewer City Blues " - #41 on UK ITunes Jazz chart

Jesse Shafer - "3rd place" - Anatolia College composition competition 2022 (Greece)


*For Inquiries Please refer to Contact page*





Past Performances

Jesse has been fortunate to have performed with alongside incredible musicians and groups. Though the list below is not exhaustive, it covers quite a bit of his work over the years. Likewise, Jesse regularly performs as a solo artist. 

Inn Vinegar (McCarthy Fitch, Alex Brouwer, Misha Pekar)

The Mulberry Collective (McCarthy Fitch, Alex Brouwer, Chad Shealy, Brooks Hannon)

The Rooibos Quartet (Fisher Wilson, Kain Naylor, Tyler Sim)

Invisible Low End Power (Wolfgang Zimmerman and friends)

Nathan and Eva

Slim Soul

Abstract that Rapper

Bonnie Bishop

Chris Boone

Bill Wilson

James Slater

James Cannon

Mike Cashwell

Keesha Glass

Gillian Kohn

Noah Jones

Zach Gilbert

Grace McNally

Dacota Muckey

Stephanie Nakasian

Dr. Mambo



Bird Tuth

Crisis Actress

The Dreamboats


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