From an Irving Kroger to Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jesse Rya's Jams Are The Hottest Thing on The Web.
There’s no stronger unifying force in the world than music.
North Texas musician Jesse Rya knows this firsthand. It's part of the reason why he spends so much of his time busking around the region, setting up shop in public places, armed with just his acoustic guitar and his voice.
But even Rya couldn't have seen what's happened to him over the course of the past week or so coming.
At a recent busking session in his favorite spot — outside of a Kroger grocery store in Irving — there Rya was, “getting better at music,” strumming out smooth tunes complemented by his sensuous voice when his whole life started to change. First, a passerby named Jaime Maldonado saw what Rya was doing, dug it, and started filming the performance on his phone.
And then something magical happened as Rya repeated a “tell 'em that I just don't know” refrain: His one-man show caught the attention of another local man whom Jesse admitted to having minimal contact with in the past; that second man slowly joined into the jam, harmonizing and singing gospel-like notes along with Rya; and then, out of nowhere, a third complete stranger drawn away from a casual grocery run by the music rolled up and showcased his talents by rapping over the jazzy street music.
The resulting footage is a wholly inspiring thing to watch:
But little could this unlikely trio know that this juncture would turn out to be more than just good vibes and good tunes with good people — and much more, at that.
Maldonado's original upload earned tens of thousands of shares on Facebook and, as of this piece's publishing, almost 9 million views on Youtube.
Which is cool in Rya's eyes. He's stoked, proud to have “affected people in a positive way” through his music.
But he also says impromptu jam sessions like this one aren't all that strange of an occurrence. Passersby often join in on his jam sessions, Rya says. It just so happened that, on this particular day, someone decided to pick up a camera and share the greatness brewing behind the scenes at that Irving Kroger.
What happened to Rya last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on the other hand? Well, that's a different story.
Last night, Jimmy Kimmel mentioned the vidoe on his show — emphasizing that the video was not a set-up or that, if it was, he certainly wasn't behind it. For proof, he interviewed Maldonado about the clip for a minute or so.
Then? Then Rya and his new collaborators descended upon the JKL stage for a performance that Kimmel very much did have something to do with. After allowing the original trio the chance to kick off their viral hit, Kimmel (on bass clarinet), his bandleader Cleto Escobedo III, and the rest of the Cletones joined in on the action. Eventually, so too did Trey Songz, Juicy J and Aloe Blacc.
Check it out:
And that? Well, that's the kind of impromptu jam session Rya hasn't seen before.