Jennifer believes “we all have a little ‘Jester’ inside of us that just wants to have fun!”
Jennifer Jester is a Springfield, Missouri-native and based vocalist, musician, educator, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Jennifer’s music of choice is steeped in Americana, bluegrass, country, folk, new-grass, and contemporary pop. Her musical origins developed from an early age. By age three, Jennifer began to experiment or “dink” around on the piano keys, which quickly led to lessons around age four. Around 5th grade, Jennifer picked up one of many aerophones, including the flute and a baritone horn by the 7th grade.
The musical upbringing led to performances in marching bands and concerts, which led to a collegiate study of bass trumpet, trombone, and euphonium. Jennifer holds a DMA in Euphonium performance, an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts with a concentration in euphonium, African dance/drumming, and world music, a BS in Music Performance from Arizona State University, and a Music Business Certificate from the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA. Jennifer worked as an executive director for the International Tuba Euphonium Association, the Tuba Euphonium Press, and Managing Director of Community Concerts at Second Administration for the Washington Symphonic Brass. Following those positions, Jennifer was assistant professor at Millersville University in Lancaster, PA, the Director of Music Business and Technology, and the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Education from 2009-2013 and resigned to pursue artistic and entrepreneurial endeavors. Musical performance includes work with the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s River City Brass Band, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Balkan Brass Ensemble, the CalArts Liberation Music Orchestra, Chicano Power Revival, Orchestra Latin Jazz Ensemble, off-Broadway productions, and many other projects.
As a disciplined and creative musician, Jennifer incorporates a rich musical background with many experiences in multiple genres. It does not seem to matter which genre Jennifer experiments with, because everything turns to gold. Jennifer’s creative, strong, driven, contemplative, and assertive qualities are shaped from years of intensive academic study, personal growth and performances, and entrepreneurial endeavors. For Jennifer, the music is an extension of self that is “sometimes fun…whimsical…alluring….” The music lives up to Jennifer’s last name, as the music is very entertaining, playful and diverse. Moreover, Jennifer’s band is called The Jester’s Court Band, which is only one creation that is part of a larger idea of The Jester’s Court—an entertainment company ripe with “music, entertainment, food, and randomness.” All seriousness aside, Jennifer loves to collect Jester-related items, which are housed in a bathroom. In addition, Jennifer spends time writing new age music for relaxation, cooking, riding motorcycles, and playing with her cat, Bastet. Jennifer admires Allison Krauss and Union Station’s new-grass music, along with the vibrant horns of Earth, Wind, and Fire. Jennifer’s other favorite musicians are Chicago, Enya, Sting, Tom Petty, Elvis, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, and Dead Can Dance. However, Jennifer’s vocal music is most often compared to Dido, Sheryl Crow, Evanescence, Geike Arnaert, and Portishead.
The musical diversity of Jennifer Jester and The Jester’s Court Band rests in the multiple instruments and genres utilized, because “my life is a fabric woven of many colors.” As a singer and dancer, Jennifer’s cross-cultural influences range from off-Broadway productions, to classical, jazz, salsa, Latin, pop, rock, and world music genres. The musical goals revolve around a nurtured talent that shape the present musical foundation, as well as future musical outcomes. Jennifer’s goals would be “performing regularly in theaters and nice venues around the world, [discovering] an abundance of people that enjoy my music, [and the ability] to continue [making] beautiful music for the rest of my life.” Furthermore, Jennifer believes “people need more ways to connect with others…that is what I try to provide through my music—these magical moments of connection.” Music is the most “beautiful, powerful medium to communicate with people with or without words.”
In 2013, Jennifer established a School of Rock franchise in Springfield, MO and pursues recording and other projects both musical and non-musical. Since moving back to Springfield, MO she actively plays in the School of Rock Springfield Adult Program when needed, and moonlights on electric and upright bass, euphonium, bass trumpet, and sing. She also teaches various courses at Missouri State University, History of Rock & Roll, and The Business of Music.