Whether it’s a fiddle tune or folk song written from the heart, Jess Wedden has been capturing hearts at every performance with her energetic stage presence and effortless smile. Her trick fiddling, singing, step dancing, and finger-style guitar picking belies her young age of 18 and reflects her exceptional passion and drive. In the short time Jess has been in the industry, she has earned national recognition as a 2016 and 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and a 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition semi-finalist. It's no surprise she received a standing ovation opening for Ashley MacIsaac at the Festival of Small Halls Ontario.
Jess' first musical experience was in 2011 with the Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra beginner class; a year before she began private fiddle lessons with Cindy Thompson of Almonte, Ontario. After three years of playing, Jess recorded her first album Fiddling is My Passion, which earned her a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination. Since then, Jess was nominated again in 2018 for her original fiddle tune One More Time, and has been continually refining her unique style. Jess typically performs over 50 shows a year, and is signed to Willow Sound Records.
“Wedden may be one of the next generation of upcoming Natalie MacMasters.” -Celtic Life Magazine International.
Jess has been compared numerous times to Natalie MacMaster and Alison Krauss, while also being influenced by Scott Woods, Bruce Cockburn, Tara Shannon, and David Francey. In 2019 Jess had the pleasure of meeting David Francey (Juno Award winning folk singer and songwriter) in her high school music class, which led to performing as a special guest and side player at his following Christmas Show. She is now hired to back him for two upcoming performances (presently postponed).
Two other performances cherished by Jess include opening for CBC's Comedian, Jimmy the Janitor (Sandy Gillis), and Juno Award winning fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, where Ashley asked Jess to accompany him for a couple of fiddle tunes on stage.
“There are many players of fiddle music in Canada, and it takes quite a performance for one to stand out from the next. Jess is that kind of performer. She plays with her heart and brings audiences everything from passion and style, to trick fiddling that I wouldn't even dare try. You'll never have more fun watching and hearing a fiddler play than you do at her shows. She is one of the best performers I've had the privilege to appear on stage with, and I can't wait till our next chance to do the same.” -Ashley MacIsaac
“As the son of a great Cape Breton fiddler, I can say with great confidence, that you are one of the best young fiddlers in Canada.” - Sandy Gillis, Comedian (CBC Radio)
Jess has also shared the stage with J.P Cormier, Scott Woods, Steve Piticco, Larry Mercey, The Fitzgerald's, Chrissy Crowley, Jason Roach, Jake Charron, Koady Chaisson, and Anne Lindsay.
A few of her past performance highlights include Breakfast Television Toronto, Rogers TV (Ottawa), The National Gallery of Canada for the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group (including US Senators), Marvest at CityFolk (Ottawa), WinterFolk Festival (Toronto), the Havelock Country Jamboree, and appearing as a special guest of Tara Shannon's Holiday Show, in memory of Jonathan Pitre.
With her extreme dedication, there is no doubt that Jess will thrive as a professional performer, composer, and songwriter. Music is her passion!