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July 12, 2002 - Image 81

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

quiet. "It is always hard to deal with
people getting the wrong impression,"
she admits. "I'm not a bragger; I'm not
stuck up; I don't push it."
But Palter has showcased her talents in
the Jewish community. She was a junior
cantor at Temple Israel and found it
"cool" to learn prayers and songs and
perform them on Rosh Hashanah.
She took drama courses from Nancy
Gurwin at the Jewish Community
Center and for years acted in children's
theater productions at the Center.
Gurwin recalls her fondly, calling
Palter "terribly, terribly talented. A
Palter also has sung "Hatikvah" and
"The Star Spangled Banner" at a JCC
sports banquet luncheon.
And while she's thought about put-
ting together some songs for a
Chanukah album, Palter, like many
well-known Jewish vocalists, admits to
a love of "singing Christmas songs."

Local Promotion

Palter is produced and promoted by
longtime friend David Sherline of
West Bloomfield, who has formed a
musical production company called
Watchtower Music.
"He's a fabulous, talented guy," she
says of Sherline, having worked with
him on productions for 10 years. The
son of Tova and Rick Sherline of West
Bloomfield Township and a musician
in his own right, the multi-talented
Sherline has participated in fostering
Palter's career through musical collabo-
rations, Web site design and direction
of her promotional music videos.
He even worked with her at Abbott
Middle School on a variety of shows,
serving as musical director for produc-
tions when he was only 12.
"Jess is really a one-of-a kind vocal-
ist," Sherline says, searching for words
to describe her. "Today it's hard to
come across such a talent; she writes
her own songs, sings, dances and per-
forms. While a lot of artists are taught
to be stars, she's got a natural quality.
It's really amazing. Everyone she's come
in contact with has felt that way."
Regarding the direction of her
career, Sherline is careful not to be
limiting, recognizing her broad goals
and evolving talents.
"Her music changes a lot. After
she's recorded a song, she'll immedi-
ately have new ideas for a different
sound. She is progressing to an R&B
sound, and I think that is where she
will find her niche.
"She wants to do a lot of things, but I
think signing a record deal and making

music professionally is the first step."
Palter writes her own music and has
recorded in Los Angeles, Nashville and
Detroit. She has worked with Jeff and
Mark Bass, the locally based Grammy
Award-winning producers who helped
Eminem find fame and fortune.
Together with the Bass Brothers,
Palter wrote and co-produced many
tracks, including the singles "Creepin"'
and "Don't Rush Me."
"Creepin," for which she's currently
filming a promotional video, is "a
revenge song, right from the heart,"
Palter says, explaining it was written
about, and by, a girl who catches her
boyfriend kissing another girl. A sly
smile crosses her face as she says that
she's certain the guy it was written
about has heard it.
"Don't Rush Me" tells girls that "tak-
ing it slow in a relationship is good. I
remember when TLC came out with
their song 'I'm Pretty.' It made a lot of
girls feel good about themselves," says
Palter, explaining the power of music
to provide encouragement and empow-
erment. "When it is a good song, peo-
ple will try to relate it to their life."

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Making Connections

Palter has seen and experienced the
power of music, which, she says, "touch-
es so many souls. I know it's often been
my release when I've needed it."
She also credits music with helping
patients to battle illness, especially
"About two years ago," recalls Palter,
"I was recording a commercial and got
my first paycheck. I walked outside
and Mom said, 'Today is your day of
firsts. You have your first [ill] fan
who's requested to meet you."'
The son of Peggy's accountant was
fighting cancer, had heard a tape of
Palter's and was instantly attracted to
her music. They met, and worked
together to help him beat the disease.
Today he is a cancer survivor, and they
are boyfriend and girlfriend.
Palter's interest in using her talents
for healing has led her to plans to ful-
fill her school's community service
requirement by working with cancer
patients in the fall.
"To move people, to make people
smile, to believe they can cure them-
selves and cure cancer. It's powerful."
And so is JessE. LI

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