Raspy-voiced Santa Cruz singer-songwriter Tess Dunn has accomplished more in 19 years than many performers with decades behind them. A five-year veteran of the San Francisco Vans Warped Tour who was named one of the top Bay Area performers by a leading S.F. radio station, Tess has already released two albums of her original music. Her latest, “Honesty Box,” was said by Eric Berg of KUSP to have “a great caffeinated garage sound not too dissimilar to the punk bands of 30 years ago.” Wrote another reviewer, “With lyrics dark yet hopeful, Dunn plays a range of songs that hit with the energy of Blink 182 and the emotional intensity of a Fiona Apple ballad.” A talented pianist and keytarist with a dynamic stage presence, Tess is a musical warrior.
Tess began writing songs at 11 and took to the stage at 12. Her 2009 CD, “Darling Just Walk,” was recorded in North Hollywood, and included a host of internationally recorded musicians, including Carina Round, Adrienne Pierce, Ari Shine and Adam Topol (Jack Johnson’s long-time drummer). Her second album, "Honesty Box," was released in February 2012, and produced by Ari Shine and Noah Shain (Skrillex, Dead Sara, Secret Handshake). Jenna Brogan of the Good Times wrote, “While Darling Just Walk was an opportunity for Dunn to show off her songwriting skills, her uniquely raspy voice and vocal range…Honesty Box kicks up the tempo, production value, and girl power.”
"Shame To See," the first single from the EP, was recorded at the legendary EastWest Recording Studios in Hollywood. The accompanying music video won a San Francisco Bay Area contest for Best Local Music Video, and led to Tess being named one of the top eleven S.F. Bay Area artists of 2011 by 99.7 FM NOW Music.
Dubbed as “the young and the fearless,” due to her fierce battle with cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and diabetes, Tess says it’s “…almost like having a clock ticking over your head, but it has a way of putting things in perspective." A music reviewer wrote that Tess’ lyrics, “…delve into deeper and darker spaces than the pop stars of her time.” Says Tess, “What pushes me is when other people think I can't do something. I'm very defiant.” An affecting advocate for anyone battling life’s challenges, Tess encourages others due to her take-no-prisoners attitude toward life.
Tess has performed throughout California, including at the San Francisco Bay Area Vans Warped Tour in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. She has had numerous sold-out solo shows in Santa Cruz County, and has opened for artists including Karla Bonoff, Nina Storey, Ari Shine, Adrienne Pierce, and Wooster. She contributed a song for an anthology album in Canada, and has participated in three national film and music productions, including Vans Off The Wall TV’s "Pass The Bucket" series, which features inspirational athletes, artists and performers: http://www.offthewall.tv/video/tess_dunn.
Possessing more energy and drive than a roomful of people, Tess takes girl power to a whole new level. To listen to Tess is to be inspired.