Although he hails from the Rust Belt, guitarist/composer Jesse Barnes has devoured an eclectic mixture of music. In the early 90’s he came up listening to hip-hop and shining shoes in his father’s barbershop on Cleveland’s east side. It was here that he was introduced to the guitar and after cutting his teeth in the local blues clubs while in high school, he spent the next 10 years playing in New Orleans, Chicago and eventually Brazil. Now residing in Brooklyn, New York, his music has incorporated bossa nova and jazz and yet his songs still resonate with the simple stories he heard at the barbershop. Jesse earned a degree in Jazz Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans and later studied percussion and guitar in Rio de Janeiro. Jesse is the guitarist for a wide range of artists such as international chart topping artist Aloe Blacc, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Lulu Gainsbourg and many others. He also fronts his own band Take Berlin and when he’s not on tour he can be found having a blast in the classroom working with students through Music Ascension. Jesse began running music residencies in 2007 with Roots of American Music and has been a Music Ascenson Teaching Artist since 2011.
Jesse has spearheaded the "Stop the Hate" Anti-Violence Music Program in Cleveland for many years, implemented our programming in NYC at the Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women as well as with the widely acclaimed not-for-profit youth development organization Project Morry, several Newark Public Schools including Belmont Runyon and the Thirteenth Ave/Dr MLK Jr School, Chancellor Academy in Pompton Plains, NJ and for several years taught our full year Songwriting & Recording Music Program at The Fedcap School in Orange, New Jersey.
Jesse was the mixing engineer and co-produced “Hear Me Out” an original song we facilitated in Parkland, Florida with students in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.