Well-known community volunteer, U.S. Army veteran, songwriter and entertainment entrepreneur Thomas B. Vaughn is always on the lookout for new musical talent. When he recently learned about Jesi & Jay, a dynamic new duo of singer/songwriters who met while living in Los Angeles he was immediately taken by their talent and personalities.
The pair put together a successful tour across the Southern and Midwestern United States, eventually making their way to Nashville. The duo has recorded a CD titled “Tethered,” filled with both ballads and up-tempo tunes Vaughn feels is sure to please the public.
Jessica Erin and Jay Denton decided they loved music early on in their lives, and never looked back.
“I started playing guitar and writing songs when I was probably around 10,” Jay said. “My dad played guitar and used to play James Taylor songs as my sister and I would go to sleep, so I always wanted to play. That just kind of continued and progressed from there.”
Jessica’s experience was similar, in that she began singing as a child, impressing her family with her talent.
“I was just singing around the house as a little girl all the time,” Jessica said. “Things from Disney. “The Sound Of Music” was a big one. My parents were listening to me and their friend came over and they asked ‘Have you ever really listen to her sing?’ And they were like ‘Oh, she can actually carry a tune.’”
Like Jay, music also ran in Jessica’s family.
“My mom can sing really well and my grandma has a masters in music, so that’s on my mom’s side,” Jessica said. “My dad likes to think he can sing like Elvis,” she added with a grin.
Jessica went on to appear on stage, performing the lead in the musical “Annie.”
“Then I started to appear in fairs and festivals, competitions here and there,” Jessica said. “Honestly it’s like I was born doing it.”
Her talent has taken her to some pretty impressive venues, including opening for Grammy Award winners Motgomery Gentry, country star Darryl Worley, the Blues Travelers and the BoDeans, to name a few. She has performed at the California State Fair, several times to a sold out crowd at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and at the famous Joe’s Bar on Weed St. in Chicago.
According to his bio, Jay’s music comes from his experiences.
“He writes about the reality of the world that he has seen through living on all seven continents. His songs are written memories of his life, writing a song while camping on the side of a cliff in Australia, suspended 200 feet above the South Pacific waves as the sun rose, to working at an orphanage on the Amazon River in Peru, or running through the hills of East Africa, his relationship with God, and so much more.”
Jesi & Jay will be appearing at 12th and Porter in Nashville on Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. Vaughn says, while they are in the area, the duo may be able to make their way to McMinnville for an appearance at the Southern Standard’s Back to the ’60s event at the fairgrounds.