JESSE PARIS SMITH is a composer, instrumentalist, activist, producer, and co-founder of Pathway to Paris. She has performed globally in many configurations, collaborating with other musicians and artists, including Soundwalk Collective, Tenzin Choegyal, Tree Laboratory, Shyam Nepali, Raju Lama, and her mother and brother. Her music compositions have been commissioned for short films, commercial work, art installations, fashion shows, audiobooks, and live film score performances. Her music has been commissioned often by film maker Steven Sebring, as well as Aesop, UNDP, and other companies and film makers. She is a graduate of the Sound and Music Institute, a 9 month professional training focused on integrative practices of music and sound therapy. Many of her projects and collaborations with others focus on the topics of global climate change and the Himalayan region. She is on the Associate Board at Tibet House US, where she has co-curated and hosted events, and has been a regular performer of their annual benefit concert at Carnegie Hall since 2008. In September 2014, Jesse and Montreal based cellist, Rebecca Foon, launched Pathway to Paris, a fundraising initiative and multi media event series focused on bringing awareness to climate change and the urgent importance of establishing a legally binding global climate agreement, leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference(cop21), which took place in Paris in December, 2015. All of the events also served as fundraisers for 350, a leading climate action organization founded by Bill Mckibben. Pathway to Paris has partnered officially with the UNDP and 350, continuing to work together with these groups post Cop21, with a focus of turning the Paris Agreement into reality through advocacy and awareness initiatives, and with the development of innovative and ambitious solutions. In light of the Himalayan earthquake in April 2015, she also founded Everest Awakening, an initiative to bring together musicians, artists, writers, poets, and activists to raise funds and awareness for the Himalaya. Jesse was born in Detroit, and spent her childhood in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She lives between Detroit and NYC.
Jesse has curated, produced, and hosted many events. For two years, she curated, produced, and co-hosted a monthly multi media true story telling event called Talkingstick at the Rubin Museum of Art, the Himalayan art museum in NYC. She co-curated and co-hosted a weekly seasonal event at Tibet House US called Mindful Music and Sound Series, which was an educational music based series focused on Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Other one time only events have included ‘To Nepal with Love,’ which featured Nepalese and Tibetan poets, artists, and musicians, a 'Tribute to Roby Springer' held at Anthony Film Archives, and ‘Gathering for Nepal and Beyond,’ a fundraiser for Nepal and the Himalayan region after the earthquake of April, 2015. For many years, Jesse and her mother curated an annual event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, creating evenings of music, poetry, and stories inspired by one of the exhibits in the museum, or by a literary or historical figure or era. They also took this idea to other locations such as MoMA and The Morgan Library and Museum. Pathway to Paris, her collaboration with Rebecca Foon, has hosted five events so far, including a radio hosted show at WQXR venue, The Greene Space in NYC, an evening at the Rialto Theatre in Montreal, and two consecutive evenings the Le Trianon in Paris. Whether she is putting together an event on her own, in collaboration with others, or invited onto an event as a performer or speaker, she enjoys seeing people of all different backgrounds and vocations joining together, and creating platforms for new collaborations that otherwise may not have taken place, which also includes that of the person onstage and those in the audience.