B i o g r a p h y
"I Am An Immigrant" is a truly great song!
Azalea City Recordings artist Jesse Palidofsky has been performing his original songs in folk venues, coffeehouses, and festivals for decades. "I Am An Immigrant" was the #1 song on the international Folk Radio DJ charts in November of 2015 and "Dancing Toward the Light " was the #5 CD . Jesse has won numerous awards in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest.
Jesse founded Compared To What! coffeehouse in his native Detroit, which featured legendary blueswoman Sippie Wallace and songwriters Michael Smith ("The Dutchman") and Claudia Schmidt, as well as Motown session musicians, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, the Detroit Blues Club and bluegrass bands. He co-founded the highly successful Carroll Cafe series in Washington D.C.
From the initial bars of spritely Appalachian fiddling on “Lay Down Your Heavy Burden”, all the way through to “The Parting Song” which closes things out, Jesse's album Dancing Toward the Light weaves a rich musical tapestry suffused with vibrant musical colors, catchy choruses and a quirky sense of good humor. And yet, the stories behind these tuneful story-songs take us into some of the bleakest corners of human existence. Through his song "Wondrous Day", we sit inside the bars of a women’s penitentiary at a weekend retreat for women “lifers”, a number of whom have been convicted of murder. In "Water the Seeds of Joy" we hear the sage advice of a spiritual teacher to a man whose brother has committed suicide, leaving behind two small children. We rejoice with an impassioned singer for social justice who, a mere few hours from dying of a congenital disease, miraculously receives a new liver on “Glad You Made It Through the Fire”.
A pervading theme of finding the light in the darkest corners of life emerges, which ties together the eclectic musical strands in an unexpected and deeply satisfying way. The overall upbeat and optimistic tone is that much more resonant, when we know the “story behind the story”.
With a deep understanding of the amazing power of music for healing, for many years Jesse has employed his gifts far away from the spotlights--singing in prisons and in hospitals and offering music for hospice patients. As a long-time staff artist with Arts For The Aging and now under his own auspices, Jesse has shared music with thousands of people with dementia and cognitive dysfunction. Jesse leads Music and Healing workshops at multi-cultural arts and music workshops like Common Ground on the Hill, and at national conferences for organizations like the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Jesse is an inspired tunesmith who never falls back on “tried and true” gimmicks. I was thoroughly engrossed from the first cut until the end!
Bluesman James “Sparky” Rucker
Jesse’s music is quite wonderful!
Parker Palmer, Author, A Hidden Wholeness
Jesse’s blues brought the crowd to its feet...!
Robert Caldwell, Performing Songwriter Magazine
Jesse‘s heartfelt and soulful music draws us so easily into places of celebration, wonder and a deeper sense of our connections to one another and to the greater life of Creation.
Ben Tousley, Massachusetts Singer-Songwriter