Illustration by Laani Heinar.
has sung in choir every week since the age of 4
soprano, hit an A6 one time in warm-up :O maybe never again...
feels a connection with animals, especially dogs & birds
will probably drop whatever she's doing to meet for coffee
traveled across western Canada for 18 months pet-sitting and writing music
I consider myself to be a sponge-like, highly sensitive person. I used to have a hard time with all of the things I was constantly absorbing, until a dear friend gifted me a notebook that was half lined and half blank. I started to document my observations of the world, society, and relationships through poetry, images, charts, and conceptual ideas. My compositions are stories and in some cases, collages of feelings and philosophies I have developed through perception management over time. Choral arts and vocal music are the vessels that come naturally to me—as I have been singing and performing throughout my entire life in many forms, groups, and styles.
I aim to illustrate the desire for a better world using relatable humour and the power of simplicity; the more we understand and can comment on what we have in common, the more likely we are to hear each other out when it comes to personal, political, and ideological differences. Knowing that 1 in 3 people in Canada have sung in a choir in their lifetime (Hills Strategies), gives me the urge to bring group singing off of the pedestal, and into more accessible grassroots performance art realms and spaces.
Vocalist and composer Jessie Rivest (b. 1990) creates choral art extrapolated from decades of singing a cappella music in classical, contemporary, experimental, and barbershop styles. Her hyper-evocative works push the vocal performance landscape forward with modern subject matter and visceral storytelling.
Jessie has shared the stage with renowned performers such as Cadence, Free Play, Rönninge, Hans Zimmer, and Tanya Tagaq. Her former barbershop quartet, Ripple Effect competed at BinG! International 2018 in Munich, Germany, bringing home bronze medals and achieving the highest score of any Canadian mixed quartet. Prestigious choral performances include: Legends of Zelda at the Sony Centre, Game of Thrones: Music is Coming at the Air Canada Centre, the Canadian premiere of Ēriks Ešenvalds ‘Nordic Light Symphony’, and the Queen Elizabeth II Commonwealth Tour.
She has worked extensively with conductors and coaches: Christine Duncan, Aaron Jensen, David McEachern, Casey Sokol, and Craig Pike, who have elevated her knowledge of harmony and intention through their penetrating methodologies. In 2019 she attended PREMIERE|Project Festival in Newport Beach, CA as a composer Fellow, and developed her piece “GOOD MORNING” with Choral Arts Initiative.
Jessie spent her early years in Woodstock, Ontario, then studied in Toronto, where she earned her B. Mus from York University and Arts Management Cert. from Humber College. She is currently based in Kelowna, British Columbia.