True “soul” is not limited to mere vocal or physical gymnastics. It’s something born from within and nurtured by a real love of art, a sensitive nature that grows from birth and is genuinely part of someone. That is the case with rock artist, Jessie Galante, a spellbinding dynamo who electrifies audiences with her expressive powerhouse vocals every time she takes the stage.
Born of Sicilian parents in Buffalo, NY, Jessie Galante was surrounded by music constantly in her home—a purebred Italian heritage which planted a seed of passion for it inside her heart. But as Jessie grew, she felt the emotional frustration of a traditionally strict Sicilian upbringing bearing down on her. This spawned a revolution, a battle cry for the love of music that was stirring inside, something that would eventually overpower the tame little girl her parents wanted.
Driven by that love of music and a craving to express herself in a way that would communicate all the energy and pent-up emotion, Jessie took to the streets of her native Buffalo, a city filled with rock and blues clubs. It was there in the streets of her hometown that Jessie Galante found her voice… and found herself. Armed with an amazing voice, determination and a fearless approach to performing, Jessie stormed the city, drenching it in a spectacular aura of vocal performance yet to be heard. With her first band “Actor,” Jessie quickly became the number one female singer in the region, receiving countless awards as voted by her fans and the club owners. “Checkin’ Out,” her first recording with “Actor,” was released just weeks following her debut on the music scene and is still played on Buffalo’s 97 Rock radio.
When “Actor” disbanded, Jessie was crushed, heartbroken and not fully understanding what went down frustrated she packed her bags and drove to Los Angeles. Within a year’s time, she was managed by Ray Brown. He recognized the powerhouse of Jessie Galante and created “Fire,” a rock band that lit up L.A. Jessie was the star at its center and they performed at all of L.A.’s landmark rock venues… The Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy, Gazarris and The Reseda Country Club. Reviews poured in from all parts of the city; “Fire” was the one of the top ten hottest bands in Southern California. The L.A. Music Connection wrote, “Jessie is inarguably one of the hottest front women L.A. has to offer!”
Jessie and “Fire” recorded a four-song demo with mega-producer Michael Wagener whose credits include Queen, Alice Cooper, Sass Jordan, Great White and Extreme. After hearing the demo, an international music critic wrote, “The band was often called to undertake showcase gigs for major labels and on the strength of their only recorded demo, they should have been a compulsory signing then and there!” Simultaneously, the demo recording began regular rotation by radio stations in Germany, England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy. Europe had welcomed and accepted Jessie’s soulful rock voice with generous airplay and press… something the “Queen of European Rock” would never forget.
Eventually, feeling compromised by the politics of the L.A. music scene and becoming disgruntled with complacency, “Fire” disbanded but this sparked a new burst of energy for Jessie. Fueled by a desire to write her own music, Jessie recorded her first solo CD. Without looking back, she traveled back to Buffalo where she could concentrate on her writing.
Upon arriving back in New York, Jessie met and soon married the great love of her life, Larry Swist who had worked with artists such as Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Ike & Tina Turner, Spyro Gyra and Sly & the Family Stone. Together they produced Jessie’s first solo CD entitled “Gesua.” Music reviewer Dale Anderson described Jessie’s CD as “A gritty album that confronts a gamut of emotional demons and dares you to flinch.” The album was a statement of liberation—a kind of emotional release from a life full of restrictions that had tried to plague her, not just the emotional turmoil of the west coast music environment. This turning point, this re-birth of the original “soul emotion” allowed Jessie Galante to be not just herself but her “new-self” as a performer… no more answering to anyone except the “voice” in her head!
Armed with this newfound freedom and determination, Jessie set her sights on Europe. She hadn’t forgotten how readily the European audiences had embraced her voice with the “Fire” recordings. Once again, she packed her bags and set out for the unknown. After arriving and within a few concert dates, she was convinced that she had made the right decision… …the voice inside her head was dead-on!
A promoter in Holland enthusiastically proclaimed, “Jessie is a major victory for live entertainment in Europe!” In a live performance at L1 Radio in Maastricht, The Netherlands, DJ Hubert Van Hoof compared Jessie to Chaka Kahn and Joyce Kennedy of “Mother’s Finest.” Her performances in Europe always capture the interest of the media. In 2008 and 2009, she performed live on RTL National Television in Budapest, Hungary. German music reviewer Hans-Jurgen Klitch of Hartbeat magazine put it best… “I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Jessie Galante who must rate as the biggest white soul sister around at the moment. A voice as big as Ayers Rock.”
In 2010 she released her CD entitled, “Spitfire,” which involved a high-profile team of musicians, producers and engineers that truly understood the potential of Jessie’s voice and the power of her performance chops. Double platinum producer Larry Swist was involved again and co-producing was multi-platinum mixer Mick Guzauski, whose body of work includes artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kiss, Celine Dion and Earth Wind and Fire. Joining the production team was NYC based guitarist, Rob Bailey (Anastacia, Rick Wake, Jive Jones), Sony/ATV, Lee Horrocks, bassist Jack Daley (Joss Stone, Lenny Kravitz) and drummer Frank Ferrer (Guns N’ Roses, Psychedelic Furs).
In 2010, Jessie was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and took her rightful place among the region’s most illustrious members such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Ani DiFranco, Rick James, Brian McKnight and Spyro Gyra. In 2011, Jessie completed two successful club tours of Belgium and The Netherlands that included live radio and television performances. These countries have sentimental meaning for her… they were the first places she performed in Europe.
Between August 2012 and July 2013, Jessie and Larry lived in Cologne, Germany and traveled extensively between New York City, New Jersey, Germany, The Netherlands and Italy to write and record songs for the CD entitled, “The Show Must Go On.” Joining Larry Swist on the production team was Jack Daley (Lenny Kravitz, Joss Stone), Rob Bailey (Anastacia, Jive Jones).
Also collaborating with Jessie and producing are Dutch songwriter and guitarist Joop Wolters, Italian songwriter and producer Roberto Sterpetti (San Remo, Benedetta Giovagnini), Italian rock singer and producer Enrico Scutti (Cheope and Figure of Six) and Italian producer, songwriter, singer Alessandro DelVecchio (Glenn Hughes, Ian Paice, Jack Blades, Deep Purple Hardline). Returning to the New York in July 2013, Jessie was honored by the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls, NY with an elaborate display of her memorabilia in conjunction with The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
Sadly, in December 28, 2013, Jessie lost her husband, her friend, her mentor, indeed part of her life when Larry Swist passed away unexpectedly… she postponed the release of her latest CD.
On May 12, 2017, the CD “The Show Must Go On” was released worldwide on Tanzan Music, Italy and release on Anderstein Music, Japan.
Newly added to this release is both a sensitive and powerful orchestral version of “Nights In White Satin” Galante’s first recording since the passing of Larry Swist. Galante’s dynamic team of musicians is inspired by members of her family; (LA) film composer and orchestrator Rossano Galante (Live Free or Die Hard, The Wolverine, The Shallows, Avengers); (NYC) recording, production, producer Giuseppe Galante with performances by both and additional members of Galante’s musical family. Also included are Buffalo born longtime friends (LA) legendary bassist, Billy Sheehan (Talas, Van Halen, Mr. Big, The Winery Dogs); Buffalo, NY engineer Mike Rorick (Living Colour, John Jessel-Toto, Ani DiFranco) with Galante’s vocals produced by multi-platinum award winner Armand Petri (Goo Goo Dolls, 10,000 Maniacs, Denny Laine).
The video for Night’s In White Satin was released in Spring 2019 filmed in various locations in Western New York.
Surrounded by the sensitivities and compassion of her family and friends, you can clearly hear Galante’s heartbreak and emotion as she cries and reaches out to the love of her life. It’s that fire of passion that gives Galante the strength to face her new journey in Larry Swists honor. The bittersweet message of “Nights In White Satin” is both personal and universal. It’s a love story expressively yet painfully told.
“Larry entitled the CD “The Show Must Go On”. He believed that no matter what obstacles we face in life you have to keep moving on. He was very proud of the work we did together. The love we had for each other resonates in every single song. We had so much fun writing, recording, traveling and meeting new friends in all different parts of the world.”
Jessie lights up stages around the world, while continuing to be a fiery force in Buffalo’s music scene, spearheading several initiatives. She is the host and featured performer of the annual Christmas concert of MOB (Musicians of Buffalo, co-founded by long-time friends Billy Sheehan and Bobby Lebel). In 2018, MOB partnered with the Music Is Art Festival—founded by Robby Takac of The Goo-Goo Dolls—to merge their support of Buffalo’s musical charities.
Jessie released the CD ‘The Collection’ (Skyfire Records, UK) in 2018, a powerhouse compilation of past recordings, showcasing the depth and breadth of Jessie’s outstanding musical contribution.
In spring of 2020 Jessie collaborated as sole lyricist for the album “Screaming Out Loud” by The Klee Project, a dynamic and powerful rock band from Rome, Italy with brilliant and strong melodic songs by charismastic frontman Robert Sterpem (San Remo Music Festival).
Jessie recently finished writing lyrics for an album project by a band out of Rome, Italy called The Klee Project, a dynamic and powerful rock band with brilliant and strong melodic songs by charismatic frontman Robert Sterpetti.
At this time, Jessie is writing and co-writing on new singles and album releases bringing elements of rock, soul, funk and blues into the mix and working with a production team that highlight and support Jessie’s vocal prowess. Jessie’s big voice is her trademark: a consortium of pure strength, gorgeous fragility, inspirational vocal gymnastics and total control on breaking barriers that shows why stands in a class all by herself.
Jessie along with friends Billy Sheehan and Bobby Lebel will be in recording two albums in May 2021 with more news coming soon. She is currently planning European dates for 2022 that will feature her new songs, including songs from “The Show Must Go On” and previous releases.
Jessie shares: “My passionate musical journey continues, just like Larry always encouraged. ‘The Show Must Go On,’ and his love for life and music lives strong with every beat of my heart…”