Born in New Zealand, Chambers spent her childhood and teenage years living back and forth between California, USA and New Zealand, before attending the Nelson school of music in 2000. In 2001 she shifted to Wellington where she lived until 2012, when she relocated to Nashville, Tennessee.
After singing covers in high school, Chambers started playing guitar and writing her own songs at age 16. In 1999 while in California, she recorded an album which was never released.
In the early to mid 2000s, Chambers appeared regularly as a featured vocalist on songs created by Wellington based electronic musicians like The Upbeats, Module and Rhian Sheehan. Many of the songs appeared on locally and internationally released compilation albums during this time. Outside of the electronic scene, her key peers include Bic Runga, Justin 'Firefly' Clarke, Jonathan Crayford, Dr Lee Prebble, Age Pryor and Andy Hummel.
In 2008, she recorded her first proper album Jess Chambers and The Firefly Orchestra with production assistance from Justin 'Firefly' Clarke and a cast of guest musicians including members of The Phoenix Foundation, Fat Freddy's Drop, Trinity Roots, Fly My Pretties and Rosy Tin Teacaddy. In 2011 she recorded and produced her second album Desire.
In 2007 Chambers recorded with New Zealand folk super group The Woolshed Sessions towards the release of their self-titled debut album.
Over the years she has opened for, or played alongside Fleetfoxes, Bic Runga, KT Tunstall, Newtown Faulkner, Mark Lanegan and Sarah Harmer. She has also toured solo, with backing bands and as part of live shows by The Upbeats, Rhian Sheehan and The Woodshed Sessions.
Chambers has performed across New Zealand, Australia and USA. In 2008 she played at Womad in New Plymouth and toured the arts festival circuit in New Zealand. In 2011 she performed in Perth with The Upbeats, opening for Andy C to 2,500 attendees.
In 2008 The Green Party licensed her song 'Island' for use in their campaign during the general election. In 2012 The Green Party licensed her song 'Hopeful Dreamer', again for use in their campaign during the general election. Her music has also appeared in television shows such as Shortland Street, Go Girls, Outrageous Fortune and Top Gear.
In 2009 Chambers received the Apra Best Country Song award for 'Stringing Me Along', the same year her song 'Island' was a finalist for the Apra Silver Scroll Award. That year Chambers work with The Woolshed Sessions was also recognised through a nomination for Best Roots Album at the New Zealand Vodafone Music Awards.
Chambers releases her albums on her own independent record label, ‘Jessica Chambers’.
In 1999 Chambers recorded an album in California, USA called Dreaming Out Loud, which was never actually released.
Chambers recorded both of her albums at Dr Lee Prebble's The Surgery Studio in Wellington.
Opening for Bic Runga in Nelson in 2000 was the trigger that spurred her on to seriously pursue songwriting as a career.
Jess Chambers shares her birthday with David Bowie and Elvis.
Member of The Woodshed Sessions.