Lady Jess (she/her) is artistic director and lead violinist of the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra in New York, as well as soloist, contractor, interdisciplinary musician and arts advocate in New York and Los Angeles.
Lady Jess is a soloing member of Beyoncé’s band, and toured with the superstar and her husband, Jay-Z in 2018 for On The Run II tour, recording and arranging with the Carters for their Grammy-nominated album Everything Is Love in 2019, after appearing in the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary, Homecoming. She is a 2020 winner of the UNCSA Artpreneur of the Year award, 2020 Sphinx MPower grant recipient, and 2021 fellow at The Hermitage Artist Retreat. She has been a guest speaker and panelist for the League of American Orchestras, Gateways Music Festival, Sphinx Organization, University of NC School of the Arts, Apollo Theater and more.
A regular session musician, Lady Jess was concertmaster and contractor for the Oscar nominated film Judas and The Black Messiah. She can also be heard on the soundtracks of The Lion King, Da 5 Bloods, Space Jam and more.
Artist collaborations include: Stevie Wonder, Solange, Max Richter, Carrie Mae Weems, Terrence Blanchard, Alicia Keys, et al. This year, in addition to completing her first tour with the Sphinx Virtuosi, Lady Jess released a premiere recording of music by Florence Price on the Naxos label with pianist Ric’key Pageot. Her compositions can be found on Bandcamp: Lady Jess. This spring, she will make her Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center solo debuts alongside baritone Will Liverman, and looks forward to an additional release of music by the Chevalier St. Georges with Ric’key Pageot.