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. 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 director Steven Sebring (including for a film series which received a Clio Image Award), as well as Aesop, UNDP, and other companies and film makers. She is a graduate of the Sound and Music Institute, a 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 Himalaya. 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 non-profit organization focused on global climate change and raising awareness of the urgent importance of establishing a legally binding global climate agreement and turning that agreement into a reality, through events, dialogues, and leading initiatives. Since it's launch, Pathway to Paris has partnered officially with the UNDP and 350, working closely with these groups to turn 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, Jesse also founded Everest Awakening, an initiative to bring together musicians, artists, writers, poets, and activists to raise awareness and funding for various projects in Nepal and Tibet. 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, 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. Events included themes such as Emily Dickinson, Hildegard von Bingen, Joan of Arc, William Blake, Georgia O'Keefe, and Walt Whitman. 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 eight events so far, including a radio hosted show at WQXR venue, The Greene Space in NYC, an evening at the Rialto Theatre in Montreal, two consecutive evenings the Le Trianon in Paris, and programming at FORM Festival in Arizona. 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.