Jesse is a composer, jazz guitarist, producer, and session musician based in Charleston, SC. He began his career through the grassroots and DIY local music scene in Charleston playing original music, as a hired member of various groups and playing jazz standards for restaurants and events. Since time has gone on, Jesse has transitioned further into a career of studio work - playing multiple instruments on recordings for various artists and composing and producing folk, jazz, experimental, new age and chamber music. Likewise, he performs in Charleston multiple times a week within various styles and occasionally travels to perform. 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 Luthierie. He is an active part of the groups Inn Vinegar, The Rooibos Quartet, and the Invisible Low End Power.
Currently, Jesse just finished composing and arranging his first piece for a big-band jazz orchestra, composing a body of jazz tunes for a new sextet record, composing small chamber works and is mixing an ambient album that will soon be released. Likewise, Jesse is dedicated to practicing guitar for multiple hours a day to hone his skills further.
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)
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
*For Inquiries Please refer to Contact page*
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
Abstract that Rapper