Jessie May Smart is a violinist and songwriter, performing in London, across the UK, and internationally. Having studied violin and composition at the Royal College of Music jr dept, The University of Nottingham Music dept, and Trinity College of music, she is classically trained, but with a flair for a plethora of styles, and is an experienced improviser. Jessie's musical output spans classical, jazz, folk, country, contemporary, pop, and everything in between.
Jessie has toured on violin and backing vocals with artists such as Elbow, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Katie Melua. She also has a great deal of experience in playing for shows, having depped on West End hit Wicked in London, and played on countless award-winning Off West End productions.
Jessie has been playing with legendary folk rock band Steeleye Span since 2014. Here she plays acoustic and electric 5-string violins, sings backing and some lead vocals, and songwrites. Jessie has been a co-writer, player and singer on two Steeleye Span albums, the most recent of which (Est’d 1969) reached no.11 in the prog rock charts.
Jessie's innovative electric string quartet Vesper has been on the scene for a very short time, but is already making waves. They recently performed with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Beverley Knight, Nile Rodgers (Chic), Emeli Sande and others at The Royal Festival Hall for a very special one-off Eurythmics concert.
Jessie is a busy session player, with credits spanning all genres. She is also known for her improvisational sessions, which led her to create the collective Creative Session Strings, comprised of a select few talented string players who come together for string sessions and creative projects.