Bluesfest locals: Jessica Pearson and the East Wind

July 13th, 2022 by  |  Published in Bluesfest locals, Features, Interviews, News

Jessica Pearson - promo

Jessica Pearson

The Bluesfest locals series will introduce you to the talented music makers from the Ottawa area performing at this year’s RBC Bluesfest. Come on out early to Bluesfest and discover some great new music!

Jessica Pearson and the East Wind

Friday, July 15
8pm to 9pm
Barney Danson Theatre


Jessica’s love for storytelling, drawing on folk, outlaw country, and Celtic traditions, is evident in her songwriting. The stories she tells are like lovingly-sewn patchwork quilts, stitched together by soul-stirring melodies and gorgeous modern folk-country arrangements. They are the quilts you spread out under the stars, and the ones you wrap yourself in all winter long. These stories, with their frayed edges, become more beautiful the longer you sit with them.

In 2021, Pearson received the Folk Music Ontario ‘Songs from the Heart’ award for her song Ready My Heart. She was also selected for Global Music Match, a program created to connect artists internationally on social media platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jessica Pearson & the East Wind was also nominated for ‘Group of the Year’ at the 2021 Capital Music Awards. Pearson’s forthcoming album has been nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2022 Faces Ottawa Awards.

Her long-awaited debut album On The Line was released on January 21, 2022 through Willow Sound Records, to a sold out crowd.

The Talent

Jessica Pearson – Lead Vocals and Guitar
Sam Stone – Vocals
Rosalyn Dennett – Fiddle and vocals
Peter Klassen – Double Bass
Trevor Lubin – Mandolin
Oisín Hannigan – Bodhrán


What was your reaction to the news you’d be a part of Bluesfest and who was the first person you told?
When the email came in inviting me to play Bluesfest, I was over the moon. I was working at my home desk at the time, and I got up, did my happy dance and went straight to my partner (who also works at home) and told him I’ll be playing Bluesfest. Then I immediately called my mom.

Please describe your sound.
My music is a mix of Americana, celtic folk. I love bringing the traditional celtic sounds and classic country storytelling into my original songwriting. This is the first show that I will be playing with a 6 piece band and I am very excited to share my music with the audience at Bluesfest.

How did you get started on your musical journey?
I begged my parents to buy me a guitar when I was 9. After that, I learned enough chords to start writing songs. But my music really started to take shape after my first trip to Scotland on a songwriting retreat. I was so inspired by the culture and sounds that I heard there. A few months later I started working with Tara Shannon at Willow Sound Records, and that’s when I really began to learn the craft of songwriting, performing, and started my professional career as an artist.

What can music fans expect from your show? Will you be playing any new music at Bluesfest and/or releasing new music ahead of your performance?
One thing that my show always has is LOTS of harmonies. I am so thankful to share this stage with amazing musicians, so you can also expect lots of instrumental solos, a cappella tunes, and more. We have upbeat, toe tapping songs, heart wrenching ballads and of course, lots of stories. I’ll be playing a lot of songs off my new album, On The Line, plus a new song written this year!

What artists are you hoping to catch during this year’s Bluesfest?
There are so many artists I’m excited for this year! Alanis Morissette, Andrew Waite, Braden Foulkes, Janette King, Jeremy Dutcher, The Redhill Valleys, Rage Against the Machine, and that’s just to name a few! I’m very much looking forward to seeing all the amazing artists at bluesfest this year.

Connect with Jessica Pearson and the East Wind:

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