Jessica Webster is a writer, radio host and dedicated jazz aficionado. As a 25-year veteran of 89.1 FM, WEMU, Jessica got her start as an overnight DJ in college. She hosted a popular program dedicated to jazz vocalists in the 1990s, and most recently can be found on Sunday afternoons at 3, presenting The In Crowd.
As a writer, Jessica has written for DownBeat and JazzTimes magazines, and was a reporter for AnnArbor.com, The Ann Arbor News and MLive, covering food, restaurants, business and life and culture.
A jazz fan since childhood, Jessica has relished the opportunities to work closely with jazz musicians for most of her adult life. As the longtime national jazz buyer for Borders Books & Music, she partnered with musicians and record labels to promote the music, often advising on album art and song selection, co-producing recordings, and coaching up-and-coming artists on building public relations campaigns.
During her tenure at Borders, she was ranked as one of the top ten most powerful people in the jazz industry.
These days you can find Jessica applying her writing and PR background on the communications team for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Jessica serves or has served on the boards of The Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, the Pioneer Orchestra Parents Society, The Jazz Alliance, The Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association, and the Ark.
A few of the music experiences that changed her life:
- Carmen McRae at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1988
- Art Blakey at the PSV Zaal 1988
- Sweet Honey in the Rock at the Power Center - early 1990s
- Peter Paul & Mary at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center 1984
- The Staple Singers at the Frog Island Music Festival 1995
- The Manhattan Transfer at the O'Keefe Centre 1985