Cocoa Jackson Lane combines gritty soul with roots and reggae. Hailing from the Pacific, South East Asia, and Barcelona, this eclectic outfit instinctively delivers an honest and raw performance. Fronted by the vivacious Jess Harlen and directed by bassist Camilla Charlesworth, Cocoa Jackson Lane seamlessly ranges from heart-wrenching delicacy to hard-hitting dancehall.
Founded on the grounds of Berklee College Of Music, CJL is a unique blend of ethnicities and influences from all corners of the globe:
Of Indonesian heritage, Camilla Charlesworth (bass, synth, and backing vocals) developed a reputable name as a session musician in Sydney, playing for and touring with some of Australia’s biggest outfits: Guy Sebastian (Sony BMG), Delta Goodrem (Sony BMG), Brian McFadden (Universal Music), Jessica Mauboy (Sony BMG), Jess Harlen (Obese/Plethora Records), and Prinnie Stevens (The Voice). Charlesworth's versatility as a performer also led to several appearances on various national television programs, such as X-Factor and Hey Hey It’s Saturday. She currently focuses on cowriting Cocoa Jackson Lane's debut LP while writing her solo instrumental project.
Of Maori ancestry, Jess Harlen digs deep into New Zealand-flavored rhythms. Moving to Melbourne to launch her solo career, Harlen was awarded Best Unsighed Artist at the Urban Music Awards 2007, and Best Female Artist at the Age EG Awards 2010. She toured Australia's festival circuit as a backing vocalist for roots giant Blue King Brown and went on to tour the globe with the group for five years. After releasing two solo albums to critical acclaim, Harlen now focuses on managing Cocoa Jackson Lane, preparing for its debut.
The live show is embellished by the lush keys of Meritxell Vinaixa, bringing her crushing Rhodes and unique style from Barcelona, Spain. The group recently recorded with George Massenburg and will be recording their first single in New Zealand in April 2013.