“I kinda feel like Hannah Montana,” Jessica said. “I keep my music side on the down low. I’m not in choir. I don’t enter the school talent shows. Only my close friends know about my passion for singing.”
While Jessica has become a local celebrity over the years, performing at community events such as the Brentwood CornFest, the Antioch resident is preparing to pursue a career in the music business full time after high school. She recently partnered with four local musicians and will tour this summer as the Jessica Caylyn Band, a contemporary country group that performs covers of songs by Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Shania Twain.
Jessica’s mom and manager, Lori Bunting, said the forming of the band is the next step in helping Jessica pursue her “God-given talents.”
“Teaming up with local musicians seemed like the next logical step for Jessica,” Lori said. “We’re taking baby steps. Jessica has been performing for free at events since she was 14, and now we want to move on to paid gigs and create a following. Eventually, we want to go to Nashville, but first, we want to get her name out there, build a fan following regionally, and then we’ll see where we go from there.”
Jessica and band mates Jeff Young, Christian Canalita, Bill Sheridan and Richard Silletto will make their debut at Mike’s Beef ‘N’ Brew in Oakley this weekend, and they’ve already lined up several other gigs in the next few months. Lori hopes to fill out the schedule so that the band is performing every week throughout the summer.
“We’ve really lucked out and found a great group of experienced musicians,” Lori said. “They’re a great bunch of guys and they’ve been in bands before and they know the routine. This is going to be a great growing experience for Jessica.”
For Jessica, whose role models include Carrie Underwood, Colbie Caillet and Martina McBride, a music career is more than a dream – it’s her future. “There are a lot of people out there trying to make it,” she said, “and I wouldn’t be trying to pursue this if I didn’t think I had what it takes. I don’t like to brag, but people have been telling me for years that I have a special talent, and I want to see where this takes me.
“My goal is to write and perform my own original music. I want to make music that people will want to listen to. I love to perform, and I want to people to have a good time. I don’t know how it will work out in the end. Maybe I’ll get a record deal and perform around the country. Maybe I’ll find my local following and come back to the Bay Area, but either way, music is my future. It’s what I love. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
The Jessica Caylyn Band performs Saturday, April 17 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Mike’s Beef ‘N’ Brew, 2083 Main St. in Oakley (no patrons younger than 21 are admitted after 10 p.m.). There is no cover charge. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/jessicabuntingsmusic.