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Jess Tollestrup

Jess Tollestrup is an Albertan multi-instrumentalist and poet. Their haunting looping pedal compositions - a blend of piano, vocal harmonies, guitar, mouth percussion, and spoken word poetry - have played in cities all over Canada, connecting with diverse audiences in bars, cafes, and poetry slams. In addition to songwriting, Jess' versatility and skill has made them a sought-after pianist by country, blues, jazz, pop, and rock groups such as the 'Mark Hall Band', 'Six Figures', 'Driving While Blind', and 'Celery Sticks'. In April of 2016 they graduated from Vancouver Community College with a diploma in Jazz and Contemporary Piano.

Jess has opened for the spoken word folk group 'The Fugitives' (2013) and performed with poets like Jillian Christmas and Edmonton's past poet laureate Mary Pinkoski. They have performed in festivals like The People's Poetry Festival (2012, 2013), Calgary Spoken Word Festival (2013), Vancouver Busker Festival (2013), National YouthCanSlam Festival (2014), and South Country Fair (2012). Their poetry has been published in magazines like Capilano University's 'The Liar' and Lethbridge's 'Fourth Wave Freaks'.

Early successes include performing their composition 'Cycles' in the provincial level of the Kiwanis festival (2010), and their script 'Not' being made into a short film after winning the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute's film contest (2012).

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