Jesse hits you somewhere above the fifth grade reading level, bringing hooks galore without insulting your intelligence. Subtle-yet-expensive-sounding chord changes underscore his insightful lyrics.
His first full-length release, "Contents Under Pressure" was named "one of the best CDs of 2004" by the Indie Acoustic Project . It was produced by Andy Kravitz, and features some of Philadelphia’s finest musicianship (Jay Davidson, for example, who is currently playing saxophones and such in Steve Winwood’s band). Jesse plays a number of instruments as well, and tops it off with a soulful and snide vocal delivery.
"Freedom Isn't Free Tonight” has been featured on the Air America Radio program "The Mike Malloy Show" (as recently as May 24, 2006) and has been heard on "Democracy Now" (Pacifica Radio), as well as on college and community radio both near and far. With an utterly non-existent promotional campaign, the success of the song is due to its inclusion on a collection of music that Thurston Moore of the Sonic Youth launched as the war in Iraq began.
His latest song, the self-produced “Sons and Daughters” was an instant hit when he took it to Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas in August. While there, Jesse also stumbled into the job of soundman and announcer - something right up his alley. The song has since begun to trickle into radio thanks to Air America Phoenix and to Gene Shay at WXPN (in Jesse’s native town of Philadelphia). Check out what the Crawford Peace House has to say.
His song "Goodnight New York" won honorable mention in the 2003 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, as well as letters of thanks from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Hillary Clinton. Some of his short pieces appear in "Brainglow," an educational storytelling DVD produced by the Bay Area Video Coalition.
He has performed at venues large and small as a solo performer, as a sideman, as part of a variety of bands, as improv accompanist, and as spontaneous late-night entertainment. In addition to his prowess as a vocalist and songwriter, Jesse is a seasoned studio musician who is comfortable on piano, guitar, bass, drums and percussion. He has taught music, and has been behind the scenes at numerous concerts and television productions as a stage manager.
Jesse Dyen draws much of his inspiration from Slow Poke Rodriguez, the lethargic sidekick of legendary cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez.