Jessica Curran is an internationally-recognized vocalist and songwriter based in Boston, MA. Winner of the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in Jazz, Jessica soaks in stories and soundscapes from the countries she's visited and connects the world through her songwriting and colorful arrangements. Her lyrical soul swims in a glass of Joni Mitchell's holy wine, and her compositions throb with the heartbeat of tropical drums and the harmonic soundscape of Gretchen Parlato.
From the dark winters of Lapland to the endless Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, Curran collects inspiration and instrumentation by collaborating with musicians around the globe to tell her life story through song. Her debut album “Here” harmoniously blends lush jazz harmonies with worldly storytelling. Soon after the release, Jessica began to receive critical acclaim from major publications around the globe.
Jessica got her start at a young age, touring and performing with big bands and jazz ensembles in the New England Area. In August 2012, Jessica left her Massachuetts' small town to begin her jazz education at the University of North Texas. After learning the ropes from Falmouth Big Band, Stage Door Canteen, she had the tools equipped to make it into eight of the country’s most recognized jazz universities. During her time in the Dallas area, Jessica would write her first songs, cultivate her vocal abilities, and perform with notable artists such as Bobby McFerrin and Ben Folds.
In the Autumn of 2015, her studies brought her to Scandinavia where she finished out her undergrad at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. For the following two years, Jessica found her musical voice, and set out on a journey to infuse together her jazz knowledge with her travel memoirs. In the Nordic countries, she became acquainted with folk instruments such as the Nyckelharpa which became the centerpiece of one of her compositions, “Upright”. In Ireland, she retraced her bloodline back to county Limerick where she spent Christmas, and wrote “Belonging”. The title track bears a new sense of independence for the weary traveler, as she decides to live her life to its extremities.
May of 2016, the endeavor to record began. With the help of Swedish producer, Martin Axelsson, Jessica set out to bring her compositions and travel to life by crafting a soundscape to capture her journeys over the western half of the European continent. With horns, strings, vocals, percussion, and stories of grandeur, the premiere album was born a year and a half later. “Grounded” in the United States, the first track immediately sweeps the listener into the unique groove of Curran’s unsettled soul, and leaves them “Weightless” in Sweden, wondering where she will venture to next.
Throughout her years in Europe, Jessica gained widespread success. Upon her arrival, she waltzed into a Gypsy Jazz Jam, where she would meet not only her future best friends, but some of the most influential musicians to aid her in her musical career. In Stockholm and Paris, she has performed with Jazz Manouche giants such as Samson Schmitt, Gustav Lundgren, Aurélien Trigo, Aurore Voilqué, and the RP Quartet. Within weeks, Gustav had invited Jessica to perform alongside him at Stockholm's Concert Hall, and Fasching Jazz Club. She has headlined with various bands at Stockholm Jazz Festival, Various Django Festivals, and New Sound Made.
Jessica not only sings her own material and jazz standards from the American Songbook, but also arranges for a multitude of colorful instrumentations. She is frequently commissioned for her musical and lyrical abilities. Most notably, Jessica had the opportunity to musically interpret the Nobel Prize in Economics for Stockholm's Nobel Museum in 2016.
Soon after the release of "Here" in October 2017, Jessica went from jazz student to receiving critical acclaim from major publications around the world. Upon the completion of her first North American Tour in November of the same year, Jessica set off to explore the rhythms of South America, where she developed a large following in Southern Brazil and composed with a variety of notable Brazil composers such as Grammy-winner, Alegre Correa, Francoise Muleka, Marissol Mwaba, and Rafa Oliveira.
Her upcoming projects include an EP with Sweden’s top Jazz Manouche guitarist, Gustav Lundgren, and the Primavera Quartet, which connects jazz tradition with compositions inspired by South American rhythms. This includes compositions by Columbian pianist Arnold Rodriguez, Argentinian bassist, Juan Mendoza, Swedish drummer Rasmus Blixt, and Jessica herself. Her personal project, "Say Something" is a co-write endeavor with her friends from South America to document her travels on the southern continent, and speak for those who have no voice.
Jessica is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts, but frequently travels outside to further her recording and live performances.