An eccentric troubadour originating from the lush island of Tasmania, Jesse McCormack plays a passionate blend of Nordic, Australian, and Anglo-Celtic folk music delivered in a vibrant flourish of purple bohemianism, and inspired by artists such as Steeleye Span, Loreena McKennitt, Evanescence, and The Corrs. As someone who learned to read by studying CD lyric booklets while listening to the corresponding songs, Jesse has a unique and profound relationship with music that began at a very early age. He had his first piano lesson at the tender age of 11, and since his late teens has taught himself to play a small arsenal of other instruments including ukulele, whistles, dumbeg, Celtic bouzouki, and harp.
Jesse has released two studio albums: the raw and enthusiastic “Celtic-folk-meets-garage-rock” recording The Day Before the Fair, and the slick-yet-earthy, history/mythology/folklore-inspired Enchanted Forest. He has toured once in Europe, and many times in south-eastern Australia, including at events such as Cygnet Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the National Folk Festival. These performances have either been as a solo artist, or with one of his bands: inter-generational trio Velvet Sledgehammer, classical-folk fusion duo Zoukin, eclectic folk trio The Rolling Waves, or Scandi trad duo Nordic Wombat. Apart from working with these bands, he has also collaborated with the likes of Swedish a’cappella legends The Real Group, London electric cellist Jo Quail, Brisbane singer/flautist Sarah Calderwood, and his good Yorkshire friends cellist and poet Sarah Smout and singer-songwriter Alex Johnston-Seymour. He currently resides in Sweden and is preparing his second European tour, to take place in mid-2023, collaborating once again with Alex Johnston-Seymour, as well as with Swedish fiddler Kristina Nygårds.
With his adaptations of traditional Celtic laments and love songs, spicy English murder ballads, and edgy Nordic folk tunes – as well as his own quirky original compositions – Jesse induces imaginings of fantasy worlds and cravings of dance fever. With rhythm pulsing out the ends of his fingers and harmony potently oozing from his very soul, his minstrelsy is like a fiery, reviving drink; conjuring exquisite melodies and tingly midsummer night anticipation.