Solo or with her band, Jesse Maclaine performs highly creative, honest, beautiful, exciting, compelling music that is both accessible and defies categorization.


Mezzo soprano-pianist-composer Jesse Maclaine began working as a professional performer and recording artist at age 20, just five years later she collaborated with friends in New Orleans and RCA Studios Nashville to produce her premiere LP as Aural Elixir. Now based in Denver and seasoned by over two decades as a performer and composer, she is held in high regard by peers, critics, and music lovers worldwide. Her shows are thoughtfully curated to include a sturdy framework of popular covers, obscure treasures, and finely crafted originals - enhanced by an irrepressible wave of inspiration and passion which ensures each performance is a unique experience! 

Many people note Jesse's music is similar to Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, Joni Mitchell, or Carole King, yet all agree her sound is one of a kind. Her original music and cover song selections traverse the genres of pop, rock, indie, folk, jazz, world, and avant-garde music; she also performs solo piano music as well as secular and nonsecular music for private events as requested. In 2013 Jesse recorded a full length album with legendary New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich. Three years later, in 2016 she released the self produced live EP "Better" featuring five original songs performed as a jazz-pop-rock duo with Denver drummer Ryan Elwood. Then during the spring of 2018 she opened for Melissa Etheridge

Over the course of her career in music, Jesse has written over 150 songs, performed over 2000 shows, toured extensively across the US, self produced 4 LPs & 1 EP, composed/arranged a commissioned musical theater score for a NoCO production company, collaborated with a Denver theater group to compose and perform the incidental and background music for an original play, contributed songs to numerous playlists and compilation CDs, and recorded / produced dozens of live music videos. She is currently composing new music, including her first full orchestral piece, "St. Gertrude's Symphony for Cats."

Jesse's past performances include numerous music halls, listening rooms, private events, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and festivals such as VegFest Colorado at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield & Jeffco Fairgrounds locations, Venus de Miles Festival, Aurora Arts Festival, All Folks Fest, Crestone Summer Music Festival, New Orleans' Cafe Istanbul, Tipitina's, The Howlin' Wolf, House of Blues, Blue Nile, 711 Bourbon Street, The St. Regis Aspen Resort, Fort Collins' Lincoln Center, Holiday Concert at Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Macky Auditorium & Grusin Hall at CU Boulder, Denver's Herman's Hideaway, Mercury Cafe, La Cour Art Bar, Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Spark Theater, International Church of Cannabis, Little Bear Saloon, Boulder's Historic Chautauqua, St. Julien Hotel and Spa, Wildflower Pavilion at Lyons' Planet Bluegrass, Oklahoma City's Classic Rock Cafe, Santa Fe's Cowgirl Hall Of Fame, and many more. She has performed for such luminaries as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, the 2001 Ambassador of Turkey, Jena Griswold - CO Sec. of State, Melissa Etheridge, John Legend, and iconic pop artist Ron English, and Aural Elixir's premier TV performance from Louisiana Jukebox (2000) is preserved in Tulane University's Jazz archives.

Last year Jesse founded the Musical Women Show and Social Hour to help increase visibility of women in music by collaborating and connecting with the local community of professional and amateur female and female identified musicians. She hosts a Musical Women Facebook Page and organizes a MWSHS concert every few months. 

Visit Jesse on YouTube to check out over a decade of live videos or Soundcloud to hear her compositions and preview new musical works. 2019 holds all sorts of new sonic adventures including the debut of her new project Jesse Maclaine & the Scotch! Listen to their dynamic and irresistible playlist of select live cuts from their debut concert, look for #jmscotch and follow them on social media.   


Jesse Maclaine comes from a musical family, her paternal ancestors were professional dancers and her maternal ancestors were professional musicians. Her grandmother was a professional jazz singer & composer, her great grandmother was a church pianist & her great grandfather was a professional saxophone and clarinet player for a number of groups including the Grand Ol' Opry. Jesse's musical diversity was encouraged early on by both parents. Her Scottish father listened to a variety of classical music, from Bach to Gilbert & Sullivan, while her Floridian Mother preferred listening to Elvis, the Beatles and other popular music of the 60's and 70's. Her mother was also an excellent singer & thanks to her tutelage, Jesse began singing about the same time she began speaking, before she was even two years old and had her first performance as a soloist for the preschool Christmas concert at age 4. In her youth, her family could not afford private voice lessons so she joined multiple choirs in school & in the community, seizing every possible opportunity to sing and learn about music despite her family's financial limitations which thankfully changed as she entered her teen years.

Jesse has studied voice with many different classically trained, professional vocalists and teachers both in America and in Scotland, including renowned opera singer Patricia Bates, choir director Ken Taylor, composer/pianist Dr. Arfsten, conductor & soprano Dr. Hannah Wunsch, and many more. In high school, she won numerous awards for her choir and theater performances in regional and state competitions, successfully auditioned to be a soprano in the prestigious All State Choir four years in a row, and was even chosen as part of a select few to perform at Disney World for their 1990 Christmas Concert. Thanks to her mother's insistence, she begrudgingly started taking classical piano lessons in 1986 with musical prodigy & Juliard graduate, Marlene Woodward and continued to study piano pedagogy with her until 1992. At the time, with her intentions of a career in dance and musical theater, Jesse felt she had no need for piano lessons but luckily, her mother knew better.

In the 80's Jesse spent most of her time studying classical music, pop music, while also exploring the world of ballet, modern dance, and musical theatre. Her intention was to work in the theatre as a singer, dancer & actress. In addition to a regular monthly rotation of choir concerts, she was very busy as a young musical theater performer. In 1989, she was in the chorus and understudy for Sandy in 2 productions & dozens of performances of Grease with her high school and local repertory group, Teen Musical Theatre. In 1990, she performed in Little Shop of Horrors as Crystal, the mezzo-soprano of the Greek chorus and was featured in the TMT yearly revue as a soloist for Bette Midler's song, "The Rose," a dancer in classic pieces from All That Jazz & Oklahoma, and an actress in "Spoon River Anthology." She achieved her first leading lady role in 1991 as Catherine in Pippin and was also invited to sing and dance in the Troupe. That same year, she enjoyed her second leading role as a singer/dancer/actress in an original musical adaption of Cinderella. Later in 1991, while at boarding school in Scotland, she was cast in the chorus and as understudy for Eliza in Ayr Amateur Opera Company's production of My Fair Lady. Finally, in 1992, she enjoyed her last teenage experience as a singer/dancer/actress when she was cast as Luisa in The Fantasticks.

She began attending FSU in 1992 and studied dance, classical music, world music, & French. During her early college years, she was in multiple bands, including an alternative  rock funk group with Jim Ankar, Chris Munson, & Guitar Kevin, called Mr. Forebrane. This group recorded some demos in Nashville at RCA studios and was intensely courted by Warner Brothers Records. Although a few deals were offered, nothing seemed artistically interesting or financially fair enough to be worth signing over music rights and joining the mainstream industry. Likely a narrow escape for these  young musicians.

In 1993, a drunk driver crashed into Jesse's car while she was stopped at a red light. This accident ruined her plans of being a professional dancer but led her to a love of jazz and then the music of Thelonious Monk which inspired her to start practicing piano again. With considerable effort, she mostly recovered from the car accident and then moved to New Orleans in 1995 where she started working as a jazz singer, performing in & around the French Quarter while she studied jazz piano. In 1996 she began teaching an after school dance program in the public schools via New Orleans Outreach. In 1997, her mother passed suddenly from a heart attack and stroke, just weeks after the first Aural Elixir concert. Needless to say, this tragic event was absolutely heartbreaking for Jesse & her family. But Jesse continued pressing on toward her dreams of working as a professional musician and dance teacher. Then in 1998, another drunk driver crashed into her car and once again her dreams of dancing professionally were crushed-literally. On the road to recovery but unable to dance professionally ever again, she decided to focus intently on music & delved wholeheartedly into the world of jazz and ultimately began composing her own multi-genre original songs for Aural Elixir.


 Aural Elixir was recently featured on the Best Radio You've Never Heard Podcast, Women Of Substance Radio, KRFC 88.9 Colorado, 93.3 Denver KTCL, WHIV 102.3, & WWOZ 90.7 New Orleans!

Aural Elixir is an innovative rock/jazz/folk/pop band (and solo artist) created by singer-pianist-composer Jesse Maclaine in the late 90's in New Orleans, now based in Denver, Colorado. "Music makes everything better!" is the central theme and motivation for Aural Elixir's art rock, chamber pop, folk jazz melange of sonic magic. Renown for diverse, beautiful, and distinctive music, Aural Elixir performs approximately 100 shows a year, traversing musical genres, sharing stories, and touching hearts everywhere she goes. Critics, colleagues, and audiences of all ages rave about Aural Elixir's creativity, compelling songs, refined musicality, dynamic range, and stellar talent!

Aural Elixir is popular on radio stations from Florida to Alaska, including WVFS Tallahassee 89.7FM, New Orleans' WWOZ 90.7 FM, Tulane University's WTUL 91.5 FM, WHIV New Orleans, Fort Collins' KRFC 88.9 FM, Denver's 99.5 The Mountain, Fairbanks' KUAC, as well as on internet radio like Spotify, Jango, iHeart Radio, and Apple Music. 

Jesse Maclaine's Aural Elixir lends new flavor to indie pop rock with innovative, eclectic piano-vocal centric mixtures of originals and songs from the 60's to the present including covers by popular artists like Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Otis Redding, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac, The Pixies, Sarah Bareilles, the White Stripes, Fiona Apple, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, The Beatles, Randy Newman, Fiona Apple, Bruce Springsteen, Christina Perri, Meghan Trainor, Duran Duran and many more. Jesse is currently composing new music, playing limited engagements across the United States & Europe, producing new Aural Elixir songs, curating and managing a new series: Musical Women Show & Social Hour, connecting with friends and fans in person and online, making new videos for Aural Elixir's YouTube channel, promoting veganism, and working as an activist for animal rights, the environment, gender equality, racial equality, and other issues which are dear to her heart. (If you are a non profit looking for music then please reach out, we would love to help!)  

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Bandcamp, Instagram and all over the interwebs.

Peace, Love & Music! 


The long version:

Aural Elixir has been evolving ever since Jesse Maclaine created the concept in 1996. As she was absorbing the sounds of New Orleans, she was also studying the music of Frank Zappa and Joni Mitchell and feeling her own inner songwriter coming to life. Inherent in Aural Elixir are the roots of today's popular music: classical, jazz, rock, blues, world and musical theatre music. Most critics applaud the innovative, poetic vent of Aural Elixir while music lovers are simply mesmerized by her lyrical voice, rhythmic piano and unusual yet elemental feel of this music.

Aural Elixir played their first gig as a jazz trio with Jim Ankar and James Clark at a New Year's Eve Party (December 31, 1996) in a Chinese Restaurant which randomly had a baby grand piano & dance area.  Later, we were blessed with the guitar talents of Tim Robertson and drum skills of Pete Braddish, THE FOOT! In 1997, Jesse, Jim, Pete, and Tim played together on the first ever Aural Elixir recording session at The Mermaid Lounge. When Pete was too busy with his other bands (Irene Sage, The Creatures Of Habit & many others) we were lucky enough to get a tip from the great Johnny Vidacovich to call his new student Dylan "Sticks" Hicks. Soon thereafter, the infamous Lynn Drury came into the picture (early 1998) and Aural Elixir was complete. Also in 1998, during a hurricane, Alex McMurray appeared like a guitar miracle and was incredibly helpful, performing with Aural Elixir whenever TR was unavailable. From 1997-2002, Aural Elixir performed in many fine venues in New Orleans such as Tipitina's, The Howlin' Wolf, Carrollton Station, The Old Point Bar, The Dream Palace, The Funky Butt, Blue Nile, The Tricou House, Dragon's Den, The Mermaid Lounge, Checkpoint Charlie's, Buddha Belly, Banks Street Bar, Wit's Inn, El Matador and even at a private party for the Mayor of New Orleans and the Turkish Ambassador!

In 1999, audio engineer, drummer, & musical genius Chris Munson invited Aural Elixir to Nashville for a recording session at the historic RCA Studio B where they  recorded Love & Grappling (available at 2000 brought the official release of Love & Grappling at the iconic New Orleans venue Tiptina's and another CD release party in the upstairs room at the Funky Butt! Later that year, Jesse & Lynn traveled across America, and received an especially warm reception in AZ, NM, CO, WA, OR & CA for the Aural Elixir Girls Only Tour. Aural Elixir's Love and Grappling was celebrated in New Orleans with frequent airplay on local radio station WWOZ and WTUL as well as a number of excellent reviews in the local papers and even a feature story in Offbeat Magazine by Bunny Matthews entitled "Aural Sect." 

In 2001, in support of Love and Grappling, Aural Elixir toured again but this time with Jim & Dylan alongside for that full band sensation! They captivated audiences & made new friends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Northwest, NOLA to CO to AZ to LA to OR (recorded most of Anomaly in one day) to CO to OK & home to N'awlins.

During the spring of 2002, Jesse & Lynn recorded the acoustic section of Anomaly at Word Of Mouth Studios in New Orleans. Then in 2003 Jesse, Lynn & Jim did another US tour and recorded the Bedspread Jumpsuit album, which was released in 2005. 2002 also brought Jesse to Colorado where she has been singing and tinkling the keys all across Boulder, Denver and the Front Range. She has steadily been expanding Aural Elixir's audience and preparing new material for recording and a barrage of regional tours.

2007 enjoyed many live recordings & a solo US tour "Jesse & the plastic piano" and 2008 marked the beginning of Aural Elixir's You Tube video series. 2009 continued with more new songs, videos, blogs and other online outlets. 2010 featured two tours across the central and southern United States, including the highly successful "Color Changing Tour." 2011 featured the recording of a new cd with New Orleans luminaries Johnny Vidacovich and Andrew Wolf, more regional touring and plenty of new songs, videos, photos and blogs for your entertainment. 2012 was spent working diligently on producing the new cd, "Partially Domesticated Amazon; Exposed!" and traveling on a few regional tours starting with February's "Leap Into Lundi Gras" solo tour and ending with an autumn jaunt through the southwest. 2013 saw a performance filled Mardi Gras in New Orleans with Lynn Drury, regular engagements across Colorado's Front Range and then in April the digital release of the long awaited new CD! The CD is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Bandcamp  and in select record stores. In 2014 Jesse continued composing and producing Aural Elixir music, recording and performing with her New Orleans friends: Johnny Vidacovich, Lynn Drury, Andrew Wolf, Alex McMurray, Margie Perez & Cassandra Faulconer. On the Colorado home front, she began solidifying the rock duo with popular Denver drummer, Ryan Elwood. In the winter of 2014, the live recording "Bootleg Extravaganza" was released on Bandcamp. 2015 - 2017 have brought an exciting array of gigs in Colorado with drummer Ryan Elwood & some special concerts in Louisiana with Lynn Drury, Alex McMurray, & Carlo Nuccio, plus dozens of new songs and videos on You Tube. 

This year is full of exciting sonic adventures as Aural Elixir performs across America & online, playing classic covers, originals and new music at live venues and in the studio. A variety of new singles will be available before the end of the year, including the avant garde, 100% improvised, first edition of Aural Elixir's Instant Octopus Sessions. As ever, a myriad of music is available online, including free downloads and fan exclusives! Remember to follow Aural Elixir on social media for all the latest news & music, become a superstar supporter of the arts and join our Patreon team, or just sign up for our email link and get your Elixir direct from the source. Thanks for listening!

Let's connect!

New Playlist! #jmscotch

Come to a show!

Sep 21, 2019
Private Party
Sep 22, 2019
The Mercury Cafe
Denver CO
Sep 25, 2019
Armando's Ristorante
Parker CO
Sep 28, 2019
Crowfoot Valley
Castle Rock CO
Oct 4, 2019
The Mercury Cafe
Denver CO

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