"Impressive skill and character"
- The Times
"Jessie put her whole body and soul into performing."
- Wanaka concert society, New Zealand
London based Irish clarinettist Jessie Grimes balances a busy schedule performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player, as well as a teacher, presenter and workshop leader.
Alongside the Jacquin Trio she has won competitions including the Royal Overseas League and St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competitions. She also enjoys a happy musical relationship with the Dr K Sextet and Ensemble Perpetuo. As a soloist she has performed at venues including the Purcell Room, St Martin in the Fields and St John’s Smith Square.
Jessie was principal clarinet of the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra 2014-2019, recently trialled as principal bass clarinetist with the RTE Concert Orchestra and also enjoys guesting with UK and Irish symphony, chamber, radio and session orchestras.
Passionate about sharing music, she teaches at the Royal College of Music (RCM) Junior Department, is a contributor to BBC Radio 3 and has presented live on BBC television. Over lockdown 2020 she launched Jessie's Homemade Garden Jam, an 8 part live-streamed chamber music and gardening show which garnered thousands of views online and some passionate and loyal fans! In 2021 it won a prestigious RPS Trailblazer Award which funded an 8-part Season 2, and was featured on Classic FM and in Grow Your Own Magazine.
She is keen to ensure music is available to everyone, and leads education projects for the City of London Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva and Aldeburgh Young Musicians among others. She is a core member of the exciting London Rhymes project, writing songs for parents and kids under 5, with a podcast and albums available on Spotify.
She also ran the popular weekly #PlayAlongSymphony project, facilitating connected orchestral music making online during the Covid pandemic from 2020-2021
Jessie graduated with an MMus from the RCM in 2011 and was awarded the WCOM Silver Medal for Outstanding Musical Achievement as well as Rising Star and Senior Woodwind Prizes.