About Jesse

Toronto native Jesse Whiteley is a young and passionate multi-talented pianist/keyboardist, singer, composer, arranger, and bandleader.  He comes from a third generation of one of Canada’s most renowned musical families, the Whiteley family. Throughout his diverse musical life, Jesse has performed the gamut of musical genres from blues, jazz, swing, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, to roots, and country. 

Jesse began working professionally at age 17 with the Toronto All-Star Big Band. Throughout his years with the Big Band, he has worked as both a pianist and conductor and has shared the stage with such luminaries from the blues and jazz world as Clark Terry, Jackie Richardson, Oliver Jones, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and Doc Severinsen. Jesse continues to work with the band currently, having conducted the band full-time since the summer of 2018. 

Another one of Jesse's projects is the jazz duo Blue Standard, featuring the vocal stylings of Maple Blues Award winner and acclaimed actor Raoul Bhaneja, accompanied by Jesse on piano. Their debut album "A Good Thing" was released worldwide in January of 2019. Matthew Wright of Jazz Journal writes that the album “benefits from the presence of pianist Jesse Whiteley, a competent and expressive pianist who not only accompanies thoughtfully, but has the ability to vary his approach, from boogie-woogie/stride to swing and modern styles. His solos are brief but effective.” 

From 2014 to 2017, Jesse toured and recorded as a member of The 24th Street Wailers, playing across Canada and The United States. He has also recorded and toured throughout Canada, The United States, and Europe with Ottawa’s JW-Jones. He has appeared on recordings with legendary blues musicians Curley Bridges, Little Charlie Baty, Charlie Musselwhite, dad, Chris Whiteley and uncle, Ken Whiteley. 

After graduating with honours from the Contemporary Music Program at Toronto’s Humber College, Jesse completed a Masters Degree at York University in Music Composition. 

Jesse can be seen performing under his own name and accompanying many different artists and groups around the Toronto music scene, and anywhere else the music takes him.