Jesse is a Grammy Award nominated musician and arranger. He has played tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, clarinet, lead and background vocals on award winning albums and toured extensively throughout the United States.
Jesse Snyder is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer and vocalist. He plays tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet, flute, drums, has a smooth baritone singing voice and is one of the most desirable musicians in Hawai'i for both live performances and recording sessions. He plays traditional Hawaiian nose flute and ipu (gourd) when performing with Kahulanui the 2018 recipients of the Na Hoku Hanohano Award (Hawaiian Grammys) for Jazz Album of the Year.
When performing, his classic cool style can be light-hearted with whimsical riffs, deep down soulfully funky or creatively upbeat with hi-hat or his signature high kick, he is always involved and enthusiastic. He transcends multi- genres… including jazz, neo-soul, R&B, reggae, hip hop, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and contemporary jazz lending a fresh energy to every performance.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Jesse grew up with great musical influences. One grandfather gave him his first clarinet at age 10 and the other gave access to his big band record collection including the classic standards of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. His guitar-playing dad and mom supported his musical education with private lessons with Marty Caruso, who was the musical director for local TV talent show host, Al Alberts and the Four Aces. He easily mastered the clarinet and continued to broaden his horizons with the saxophone. At Elizabethtown College he was recognized by classically-trained Doris Hall-Gulati who saw his potential and abilities. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Music in Lancaster and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, was in the pit band at the Norman Rockwell Theatre at Penn State and was in a band that opened for McCoy Tyner of John Coltrane’s Band. He moved to Hawaii in 2009.
Looking to broaden his horizons in the Hawaii music scene, he performed at the Kava Bar in Hawi, then at the Red Water Café providing the music for Friday night diners. He quickly gained a presence with a number of bands like Ollie Mitchell’s Olliephonics, Slippersons, Castaways, Red Water Trio, Volcano Jazz Ensemble and occasionally as Jesse Snyder Jazz Trio and Gary Washburn & friends. Adding to his versatility, he became a part of Bump City, a 4-horn funk band and Peak, a neo-soul group. He more recently is playing percussion and drums in different genre configurations at KingsLand Clubhouse Waikoloa, the Manta Lounge at the Mauna Kea Resort, Gertrudes, Red Water Café and the Kahilu Theatre, enjoys studio sessions and doing horn arrangements for different groups of varying genres.
In 2014, he wrote the horn arrangements for the innovative swing jazz band Kahulanui’s, Hula Ku’i album which received nominations for the Grammy Awards and the Hawaiian Grammys. He enjoys arranging and has worked out of Charles Brotman’s Studio, Mana Music Studio with Michael Surprenant, and with various other artists.
He is an integral part of these albums:
2018 Mele Ho’oilina by Kahulanui
2017 Live at the Church by Ricardo and Friends – Studio Kumau
2016 Sassy by Gary Washburn – Studio Milan, and Boundaries by the Slippersons – Studio Kumau/Lava Tracks
2015 The Jazz Angle by Red Water Trio – Lava Tracks
2015 “New” from Hawaii to New York EP by Kahulanui – Palm Records
2012 Hula Ku’i by Kahulanui – Palm Records
In September 2020 he released his solo album MUSE:
The MUSE album pays tribute to the most inspirational and supportive people that have had a significant impact on him. It was a labor of love producing this album dedicated to and inspired by the muses that have shaped and colored his life and he hopes it will evoke an unparalleled musical experience through intimacy and love. This vision is shared by Executive Producer Richard Russell and co-producers Michael Surprenant and Andree Fallas.
The MUSE album has Jesse singing and playing tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet, flute, drums and percussion. The album includes internationally acclaimed Kimo Cornwell of Hiroshima band; Hoku-award winning, Maggie Herron; the guitar stylings of Curt Warren; bass and guitar virtuoso Matt Spencer; nostalgic steel guitar by Dwight Tokumoto, piano by Loren Wilken, upright bass by Brian McCree and drums by Michael Surprenant.
Where will Jesse Snyder be in five years? In ten years?
He says: “Further down the road, I guess…having experienced many inspiring and diverse events in my musical life and having created memories that have enriched who I am. I’ll continue to seek new collaborations and maintain all the great ones I have now.” He looks forward to experiencing it all!
Contact: Visit: www.jessejsnyder.com or LIKE the Jesse J Snyder Group FB page and
Jesse Snyder Hawaii on YouTube.