BIOGRAPHY

   
     Jesse Fontaine was born into a musical family where the word "performer" extends back several
generations. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Jesse began to show an interest in
music at an early age. His mother had always encouraged him to sing for family and friends. She would
even turn the living room into a stage for this young aspiring entertainer.

     Soon after Jesse’s eleventh birthday, his mother took her young entertainer to see his first concert at the
Worcester Centrum, where singer Rod Stewart performed. It was at this moment that Jesse became drawn
deeper into the dream world of entertainment. Fontaine comments that, “Rod had so much energy and
soul; his performance seemed to transform the arena into a wall of sound. The people were united and
singing along with Rod, it was a magnificent thing to witness.”

     During his years in middle school, Fontaine took part in the school's chorus and would sing everyday
when he arrived home. He would take out his mother's records and sing along with them in the microphone
and amplifier which his father had given him. Once he had a few songs memorized, he would try them out
on his family members first before performing them in front of a bigger audience, such as the middle school
talent show. Here in the seventh and eighth grade he performed a mix of Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs” and later
the Sam Cook number of “Twistin’ the Night Away." Dressed in a black and white polka-dotted sports coat,
made by his mother, he took first place both years under the category of singing/performance. These
talent shows led to two performances for the Town of Uxbridge’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration, which
were held in front of an estimated crowd of 2,000.

     One night while babysitting his younger cousins, Jesse turned on the TV and saw a live performance on
the MTV series Unplugged. The concert was not of the rocker, Rod Stewart, but of an older man
performing with only three other musicians and singing music with which he was unfamiliar. The singer was
the legendary vocalist, Tony Bennett, performing alongside the Ralph Sharon Trio. According to Fontaine,
“Tony’s love of the music, his phrasing and his voice shined through as I watched in bewilderment.” Now at
age fifteen, Jesse was introduced to a new style of music, an older style of music, the style of America's
traditional popular music -- jazz. It was around this time that the young entertainer started to develop his
vocal technique through private study.

     As a student at Northbridge High School, Jesse began to work closely with its music director, Joseph
Pepin. He began to perform with the marching band crashing the cymbals during football games and later
studied conducting techniques to take the roll of drum major. He sang with the chorus, played piano and
also sang with the jazz band. He later was involved in the show choir having to dress in various costumes
and even danced alongside the group. Fontaine reflects that, “Pepin had me doing every musical thing
imaginable, he was always very supportive of me and my ideas and he still is.”

     During his junior year, as the president of his class, Fontaine was devastated when his fund raising idea
to perform a live rock concert with his father, school faculty and professionals in the Worcester area was
turned down by class advisors and others. However, it was Pepin who embraced Jesse’s idea and worked
closely with him to help this aspiring singer to produce and perform in a concert that would benefit the
school's music program. The concert was such a great success that Jesse agreed to schedule another
performance during his senior year. Over a span of three years, with ticket prices averaging five dollars, he
and band members were able to raise over $3,000.00 for the school's music program. To this day Jesse,
currently a music educator himself, stays active in supporting the music and fine arts in school.

     Declining his acceptance to Berklee College of Music, Jesse entered Worcester State College where he
studied in the college's music program. He has also studied at Anna Maria College, where he honed his
abilities as a vocalist taking part in musical performance with the chorus and other musical events. During
this time he studied independently with renowned vocalist, Lawrence Watson, professor at Berklee College
of Music, and later worked closely with Watson and his music company S.O.S Productions as the director
of marketing and publicity (he still works with Watson and his band on special occasions). In May of 2003,
Jesse graduated from Worcester State College with a BA in Communications and a minor in Music.

     In the summer of 2005, Jesse was awarded a full scholarship to study at the annual Jazz in July program
held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus. While there, he studied in the Teacher’s
Incentive Program working with jazz greats such as pianist/composer Billy Taylor and vocalist Sheila
Jordan. Fontaine continues to hone and master the study of music and presently studies with Worcester’s
own prominent jazz pianist/composer Dick Odgren, a Berklee alumnus.