Based in Vancouver, Jessica Mai (formerly Jessica Barbour) is a born entertainer and visual artist who began writing songs at the early age of 9. After graduating from the Langley Fine Arts school and studying theatre at Douglas College, Jessica went on to form her first band and released her first EP in 2012. In 2015, she formed a duo called Jet+The Art Engine with English musician Hugh Barbour and the two of them released “Oh My Days,” a full length pop/folk album with an eclectic, happy sound. With that, the pair toured B.C., England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and nine European countries, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Over the years, Jess has taught art for children at 4Cats Arts Studio and taught music and singing at the Richmond Cultural Centre and Cast and Crew in Maple Ridge. In 2019, Jessica decided to create her own children’s character, Penny Pom Pom, as the perfect way to combine her love for music, theatre, art and children.
A long-time fan of the music, art and poetry of Canadian folk legend Joni Mitchell, Jessica recently formed “CLOUDS: A Joni Mitchell Tribute,”a collection of Joni’s “hits and misses,” along with some of Jessica’s originals seamlessly woven in.
When Jessica isn’t spending time as her bubbly alter ego Penny PomPom or singing the beautiful sorrows of Joni, she finds time to work on her own original pop and folk songs, including her latest EP, “I Might Be,” available at jessicamai.bandcamp.com.
Regardless of the role she is playing, Jessica’s performances are always a joy to experience!
Jessica Mai’s voice perfectly matches the vocal stylings of Joni Mitchell in the tone, clarity and range of her early work, including songs from her timeless albums “Blue,” “Clouds” and “Ladies of the Canyon.” From “Big Yellow Taxi” to “Both Sides Now,” Jessica brings audiences right back to the time when Joni Mitchell was at her most iconic. Jessica Mai and Joni Mitchell’s lives have some striking parallels too - they both are painters from the Prairies and are also self-taught musicians. Joni’s honesty and raw approach to songwriting has heavily inspired and influenced Jessica’s own music. CLOUDS: A Joni Mitchell Tribute, is a collection of Joni’s “hits and misses,” along with some of Jessica’s originals seamlessly woven in. Most would agree that it’s incredibly difficult to do Joni Mitchell’s songs justice; however, when you hear Jessica Mai sing “A Case of You,” her voice will intoxicate you like holy wine.