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Jessi (George) Harvey

Clare Longendyke.jpg

Jessi, also known as George, Harvey is a Montana-born freelance composer and teacher; gardener and reader; thinker and walker. Works are based in science and nature, integrating social curiosity, humor, and a love of knowledge; described by Seattle Mag as “full of surprises and consistently attention holding” and by commissioner Julia Lougheed as “diving into the absurd corners of the human condition-the moments where you have to laugh so you don’t cry”.

Jessi’s work, by the nature of our conversation, won first place at the 2020 Darkwater Womxn in Music Festival and proposal, fish dance, was an honorable mention for the 2020 Splinter Tongue Call for Proposals. Jessi has worked with Opera Elect, the Art Song Collaborative Project, Strange Interlude, the Onomatopoeia Trio, Karin Steven’s Dance, Julia Lougheed, Olivia Valenza, the Live Music Project and others. One of their favorite projects was the organization of THINGS THAT BREAK, a collaboration with three other women artists, all creating works based on the theme of breaking which was awarded the 4Culture Tech Specific Grant. They have had work featured at the Music by Women Festival (2021, 2019), Darkwater Womxn in Music Festival (2021), and New Music Gathering (2020, 2021). Jessi was a selected composer at Unheard//of Ensemble’s Collaborative Composition Initiative (2021), Laboratoire de musique contemporaine de Montréal (2019), and the Waterloo Contemporary Music Sessions (2018). They were an artist-in-residence at the Rensing Center (2021), Open AIR (2022), and the Denver Botanic Garden's Landline Residency (2022).

Recent projects include Diabelli Recomposed, 50 new variations by women composers from 22 different countries, initiated by musicologist, Claudia Bigos. Since 2022, Jessi has been part of the Emlen Artist Co-Lab, a collaboration with choreographer, Julynn Wildman, Open AIR, the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium, the University of Montana's Music Department, as well as the Emlen Evolutionary Biology Lab. The project, supported by the Prop Foundation, the Harnisch Foundation, Open AIR, the University of Montana, and individual donors, brings to life the research done at the lab into the curious and mysterious mating songs and dances of the Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle through the realms of music, dance, costume, and will be culminating in a final documentary.

Outside of composition, Jessi is an avid cook, particularly of potatoes and chillies, constant learner, and watcher of the wildlife in their backyard.

Jessi (George) Harvey

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17 min

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