John Ross Jesensky – Composer and Musician

Because my responsibilities vary so much from day to day, the only constant I can count on is my daily musical practice, which I prefer to do over several hours first thing in the morning.

John Ross Jesensky is a composer and musician known throughout the music and film industry for his exceptional compositions created specifically for both feature-length and short films. A gifted musician widely respected for his exceptional abilities playing the piano, Mr. Jesensky has enjoyed a remarkable career that includes countless awards and accolades from the most highly regarded institutions within the industry. In addition to winning an award from the Cannes Film Festival, Mr. Jesensky also received official recognition from the Phoenix Film Festival, La Gona Film Festival and Bare Bones Film Festival, a product of his deep commitment to his field of endeavor as well as his exacting approach to the art of music composition.

Mr. Jesensky has been a staunch advocate for music education throughout his career, which is surely the product of his own experience learning under some of the music industry’s greatest and most widely respected teachers. A graduate of the Hartt School of Music, Mr. Jesensky also studied film scoring at NYU and benefited from the mentoring he received from musical luminaries that include Stephen Gryc, Larry Allan Smith, Sonny Kompanek, David McBride and Ira Newborn, along with countless others who have had a similarly positive influence on his compositional aptitude and output.

Where did the idea for CineConcerts and these other endeavors come from?

CineConcerts was a concept that was posed some time ago, and I am proud to serve as the engraver responsible for creating the fully restored feature-film scores. I also do a lot of composing for film scores on a freelance basis, which allows me to be very selective in terms of the projects I work on.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Because my responsibilities vary so much from day to day, the only constant I can count on is my daily musical practice, which I prefer to do over several hours first thing in the morning.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I look for inspiration everywhere I go and have found that my best ideas often come from something observed or experienced in nature.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m excited by the talent that seems to be entering into both music and film.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’m very serious about the quality of my work and focus on the quality of my output rather than the volume, which is ultimately the most productive way to approach composition.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

All of my jobs have involved music in some way, so I could hardly ever complain about my employment history or identify a worst job ever.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I’d like to be able to devote more of my time to instruction if I could, but I am quite content with the way my professional career has gone.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I practice constantly even on the skills I mastered long ago, and I believe that this level of diligence has been at the core of my success.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I host a regular podcast on composition, and I have discovered that this has generated quite a bit of business even though that was not my original goal when I first began hosting it.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I believe I could have better capitalized on my early success, but I’m also unsure how my career could have turned out any better than it has.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There is a huge market in music for seemingly obsolete formats like cassette tapes and 8-tracks, and I’d imagine that it would be fairly easy to capitalize on the untapped market.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently invested in the restoration of this wonderful grand piano, so, in the interest of authenticity, I spent some money on all the original parts I could find.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I love the engraving and restoration software I use, and it seems that every day there is some technological advancement that makes my responsibilities that much easier.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I’d recommend “Prince: Life & Times.” Even if you don’t like his music, you have to respect the fact that he had incredible business foresight and utilized an approach that many entrepreneurs could benefit from by emulating.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Stephen Gryc and Sonny Kompanek have been endlessly influential on me and my work.