Jess Turner was born in 1983 into a musical family. He began his musical training at the age of 7 with piano lessons. At the age of 9, Jess began studying trumpet. Jess later shifted his main musical focus to trumpet, going on to earn a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree in trumpet performance from Bob Jones University. Jess first began showing an interest in composition in his early high school years. Throughout his undergrad and graduate years, Jess worked on various composition projects in his spare time, several of which have won national composition awards. These awards include 1st place in the MTNA Young Artist Composition Award, finalist in the NATS Art Song Composition Contest, the John Ness Beck Award for choral composition, finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, and the Merrill-Jones award for best composition for young band. Jess is regularly commissioned by prominent ensembles and performers across the country.
Jess’ teachers have included Dwight Gustafson, Dan Forrest, Kenneth Steen, Robert Carl, Don Freund, Sven-David Sandström, and Aaron Travers. In addition, Jess has participated in master classes with prominent American composers such as Michael Colgrass, William Bolcom, Joseph Schwantner, Dan Welcher, and Libby Larsen. Jess is currently pursuing a DM in music composition from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he resides with his wife and two children.