Jessica Wolfbird (2023) / photo by Rachel Winslow
“Dreamy, intimate experimental pop.”
-Bandcamp, “New & Notable”
“Like peering through a window into the subconscious of a gentle and inquisitive mind.”
-Local Spins, Jamie Brackman
(more press )
New album “Everything’s True” coming Fall 2023, under a new name – Jessica Wolfbird.
Featuring orchestrations by Elisabeth Blair, cello by Hunter Zhao, bass by Steve Fogle, recording with Steve Fogle Jr at Wicked Loon in Corcoran MN, mixing by Cynthea Kelley and others at La Luna Recording & Sound in Kalamazoo MI and Nathan K in Nashville! This is an album that is 9 years in the works. Stay tuned!
Jessica Wolfbird (f.k.a. Jessica in The Rainbow / Jessica Fogle) is a conservatory-trained pianist and award-winning indie singer-songwriter. She was most recently featured as the songwriter/composer for Cheetos Hands Free ad campaign, but has been winning songwriting awards since 5th grade – when she won her first statewide songwriting contest, and the school’s ‘renaissance award,’ before winning statewide consecutively for three years – followed by receiving numerous top ratings in piano and flute competitions, music and academic scholarships, and an ‘IDEA Fellowship,’ an award granted to highly creative people – which funded a term of studying the arts in London, England. During these early years, she also wrote dozens of songs and albums in her free time, from Casio dance-pop to serious piano ballads, and recorded these early albums in professional studios and on her dad’s home studio equipment.
Her first professional success was as the composer for 11 songs in “Were the World Mine” (2008) – an independent film that won 16 awards, including Best Music at the Nashville Film Fest, before landing a spot as one of the Top 100 films on Netflix for 2 years. Around this time, she left the professional music world (after music directing 20 musicals in NYC, Chicago, and the Midwest) and began focusing her talents on being a performing singer-songwriter. She performed all over the city of Chicago, before being found by Ethan Stoller (music editor for Showtime’s ‘Work in Progress,’ ‘Sense 8,’ and more), who proceeded to record her first official studio album pro bono. “Du Bist Einen Fogle!” came out on April 23rd, 2010, released under her maiden name (Fogle). Two years later she released a collection of songs frequently performed live in Chicago, called “Melancholy Frog,” before moving to Michigan in 2012.
Upon moving to Michigan, she invented the pseudonym / rotating band name ‘Jessica in The Rainbow,’ and became involved in the Grand Rapids music scene, performing at Lamp Light Music Festival and on-air at WYCE 88.1 along with many other favorite area venues (including The Pyramid Scheme, The DAAC). She eventually founded a music festival ‘Ladyfest at the Lakeshore,’ which raised money for Girls Supporting Girls and Planned Parenthood, and co-ran a house show venue in Grand Haven called ‘In the clouds,’ which hosted both local and nationally touring artists. During these years, she opened for Johanna Warren (Carpark Records / Wax Nine Records), Gaelynn Lea (2016 NPR Tiny Desk winner), Briana Marela (Jagjaguwar), and shared shows with Jonnie Baker (Florist), Mutual Benefit, and more – in addition to being part of the indie band cloudlight, which was featured on Bandcamp’s “New & Notable” front page. In June 2020, she created a three volume ‘In the clouds compilation album series’ featuring many of the past performers, with proceeds going to the NAACP, Title Track Michigan, and two shuttered music venues (due to the pandemic).
On a personal level, in 2017 she began a series of year-long self-assigned creative challenges – 365 Songs in 365 Days, 12 albums in 12 months, 52 Dreams (one creative-life task per week), and lastly, 444 Hearts – a challenge of mostly cover songs, recording and releasing one song per day. As someone with a previously private creative process, creating her own wildly public ‘creativity school’ was a form of activism, with the goal of inspiring others to embrace their authentic selves in an ever-polarizing world. Many of her albums on Bandcamp as ‘Jessica in The Rainbow’ are from this period, including the two-time Bandcamp “New & Notable” Make-Believe (2020 remix, and 2017 version – which was written/produced/released in one weekend). To this day, she is passionate about authentic creative expression, and loves inspiring people to connect with their natural creativity, using it to heal from traumas, big and small.
In her current life, Jessica Wolfbird can be found writing songs in nature or enjoying mini songwriting retreats/adventures, or in her new hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan with her fiancé Bryan (and their puppy Scout Wolfbird Jr.), baking vegan banana bread, working in their home recording studio, or teaching virtual piano lessons as the owner of Creative Sky LLC – specializing in friendly and encouraging private music lessons for students of all ages (both traditional and pop) and mini-musical writing camps for kids.
She holds a B.A. in Music (Piano Performance) and Theatre (Dramatic Literature, with a minor in English) from Lawrence University / Conservatory of Music, and an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts / New York University.
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