Jezter began singing at the age of three in a grocery cart, as told by his father. Jezter said he remembered being asked to sing 'Country Roads' by John Denver and 'Why Me Lord' by Kris Kristofferson at the age of four in a small bar in Dundee, MI. He was too afraid to take the stage at that time. He would sing to his favorites growing up that ranged from Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, R & B, Disco, Pop, to Hip Hop all 'behind closed doors' or for only family and close friends. His grandfather also had given him a harmonica at the age of 11. Jezter played the harmonica and sang mostly on his own in the woods and on the back roads of Milan and Dundee growing up. He also learned break dancing in Toledo, OH with a middle school classmate. This opened up a whole different life for the ‘country boy’ at the time. And, besides all of the events Jezter barely remembers doing through elementary school, there was an event he remembered being a part of which was the Milan Centennial Celebration. He break danced, was part of a couple skits, and even chased a chicken around. But, it still wasn't until he was 17 until he finally gave a shot at performing with a band at a family reunion. He sang '1982' by Randy Travis and it was video taped by his brother, Steve. Upon watching himself, all nervous and quivering on stage, he didn't step back on a stage again until three years later in college for a Greek Week talent show, but it wasn't singing. It was dancing. Jezter said it was also where he received his nickname. His fraternity told him he looked like Joker in his purple and black MC Hammer pants, and Jezter said ‘well since Joker is already taken how about Jester?’ The name stuck throughout college, but later became Jezter with a ‘Z’ in SOOT. Jezter said, “It’s because I got pizzazz!” His 21st year was an eventful year indeed, marking the first year Jezter stepped on stage and stayed there. It finally happened when his brother, Steve, took him for a beer in Dundee, MI. As fate would have it, the same man who asked him to sing at age four was on stage with a different country band. And, this time, Jezter also knew the lead singer from high school. He was asked to sit in with this band, and with some encouragement from his brother, he decided to do it. And did it for nine months off and on, as his brother always came to offer support and to critique the performances. Along with that also came guitar lessons from the band's guitarist, which in turn led Jezter to be asked by a childhood friend to play bass in a band. This band called 'Sun Clown' at the time later became what is known still today as SOOT. Around this same time, the ‘Acting Bug’ found Jezter as he was asked to play his first movie role in a fraternity brother’s independent Film, The Detroit Narcotics Bust (now called The Motown Shakedown). He was to play a drug runner named Lester (only coincidence in the name similarity too). That was a taste of acting, because Jezter was still focused on music at this point. And, even before the birth of SOOT, Jezter started sitting in with a different friend’s band in college playing harmonica and singing ‘War Pigs’ from time to time. This band was later to be known as The Gruesomes and now The Gruebles. SOOT and this band ended up doing a lot of shows together. Another key to SOOT is how Jezter branched to out to play with 60 Second Crush as a special guest performing all over with them, including the Rock Hall of Fame and SXSW. Jezter also recorded some vocals on one of their tracks, Destructive. With 60 Second Crush also came the introduction of THE GEPETTO FILES, since they did shows together. Also, about the same time, the break dancing days brought another of Jezter’s past back. TOP, of Buddha Fulla Rymez, who used to break dance against Jezter at college parties, and now they both had bands. Jezter started playing Congas and singing backup vocals in Buddha Fulla Rymez, as well as played in SOOT. Now, Buddha Fulla Rymez turned out to be quite the catalyst for a lot of different things to follow. They had their own studio that they rented out with a great engineer/producer. They also had DJ Stezo on turntables, Santos on bass, and Big B on guitar. These three have ALL performed and recorded with SOOT. We get ahead though. Santos jammed with a couple guys on Sundays and invited Jezter to a jam one Sunday. After the first jam, the next week Jezter brought a phenomenal bass player he met around the same time and this group became what is MOON MADNESS. This is also the first time Jezter started singing in other languages with the song, ‘Senorita’, in half Spanish. But, not long after it began, Jezter was given a unique opportunity by Ford Motor Company, where he worked as a Design Engineer, to be temporarily relocated to Orange County, California. He accepted, and left for 14 months, all the while coming back twice a month to still perform and play with all the bands. In the meantime, Big B and Chuck, the keyboardist for MOON MADNESS, formed the blues band, BIG B AND THE MAGIC BULLETS. MOON MADNESS also morphed into another band called RIB, with a different bassist and vocalist. The ‘family’ was growing. Upon returning from California in 2003, Jezter’s mom passed away. This was a hard blow, but it also breathed life into a side project now called YEEHAW, which really consisted of MOON MADNESS. Since RIB was in full swing and the bassist of MOON MADNESS was unable to perform, MOON MADNESS was soon to fade into the background. But, Jezter continued to play in SOOT and was asked to sit in on harmonica with BIG B AND THE MAGIC BULLETS. Sitting in with harmonica soon became vocals and even singing on the album, which was already recorded but they let Jezter re-track two of the songs. This then became another waiting game when Jezter met and brought in their saxophonist, Dave Daniele. Then came the Detroit Music Awards. Big B and the Magic Bullets, Moon Madness, Buddha Fulla Rymez, 60 Second Crush, and Soot were all regularly nominated for awards, but it was with SOOT who Jezter won his Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Rock Vocalist in 2005. This spurred another event into action. Joe Anthony, then a solo guitarist, was looking for a vocalist to work with. He asked Jezter if he would be interested in writing some music together and this became what is known as SOCIAL FEVER. This band really started to get things moving until Ford Motor Company came out again with another life changing offer. Jezter was offered the companywide buyout, and he decided to take it to pursue a Voiceover Education in California. This bug was due to performing and working with THE GEPETTO FILES for so long as well as that first movie role in The Detroit Narcotics Bust. Also, the previously unmentioned puppet shows he would put on for the children in the family while growing up. Plus, we never touched on the other cover bands Jezter performed and played harmonica with from about 1991 to present. Regardless of all the local successes with multiple bands, Jezter finally made the ultimate decision to see what could be accomplished on the west coast. So, then he took ‘Acting For The Camera’ at The Purple Rose Theater before leaving Michigan, packed up a U-Haul and moved to the heart of HOLLYWOOD, CA. He immediately signed up for a Beginning Voiceover class at Kalmenson and Kalmenson Voice Casting. He also found his first band on the west coast out of Venice called THREE WORD CURSE. Then, a piece of history helped again when a friend in 60 Second Crush sent Jezter a Craig’s List posting looking for ‘rocker types’. This landed Jezter on Charm School Rock Of Love 2 as a lead singer when the girls had to put two bands together. Jezter’s band, called ADDICTION, won, and not only did he win, but became friends with the band. The drummer, Oren, plays a big part in the next phase. At that time, Jezter was still jamming and recording with THREE WORD CURSE in Venice, CA. They recorded two songs together when the guitarist, Adam McNatt (pretty big skateboarder), was asked to go on an annual skateboarding tour. So, the band went on what turned into a permanent hiatus. In the meantime, Oren asked Jezter, “So, when am I going to see you perform?” At the time, Jezter said never, he just wanted to focus on recording, writing, and acting. Oren took action and found V of RED SNOW looking for a singer to write and record with on Craig’s List. Oren sent V to the music of SOCIAL FEVER and Jezter’s other bands. V told Oren to have Jezter contact him. Jezter and V talked and decided to try out a song, then another, then another until now there is a full album with more on the way for RED SNOW. They’ve had the pleasure of having Levon Sultanian and Ulrich Wild in the production, as well as Serj Tankian. Jezter even sings a song in Armenian with RED SNOW, as well as had the opportunity to perform with Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot and now RATT at The Viper Room. And, in the midst of all of this, there are the plays Jezter has been in, Reality TV shows besides Charm School, Web Series parts, background and audience work, and even his First big paying Voiceover job for DOMINO’S PIZZA as THE METAL SINGER ON THE DOMINO’S ONLINE ORDER TRACKER. Then the return of THE GEPETTO FILES as Ted, the creator, came out for a month and they did a short in Hollywood. This spurred yet another chapter in the life of Jezter as video editing and creation came into play. Since then Jezter decided to do a couple music videos for THREE WORD CURSE’s ‘Ages Of Lies’, SOOT’s ‘Chem Trails’, and has more in the works, as well as movies, cartoons, ‘television’ series ideas, and much more. He finally put his Animation Voiceover Demo together with one of the great acting coaches, Mark McIntyre. About this time, RED SNOW was hit by a few life changing events that would put the band on a temporary hiatus, including the drummer getting a great opportunity to tour the world with another band and Serj Tankian. Jezter had also taken a job in Hollywood as a Patent Illustrator for legalzoom.com for about two years that had come to an end. Within the realm of patents, Jezter found a lot of things that actually fueled a desire to make a difference in the automotive industry again. He made attempts to work at automotive companies in California, but Ford wanted him back in Michigan. He also felt that there was still so much left to do in Michigan. Then, there was ‘The Voice’ audition where he was asked to become a ‘biker that sings opera’. Although Jezter was capable of doing it, after the other ‘reality’ shows, he wanted no part anymore. After about four years in Hollywood, Big B from BIG B AND THE MAGIC BULLETS, came out to help him move back with a ride you could write a movie about. But, that would be another story. Jezter got his old job at Ford back and was immediately asked to join a Ford cover band in the Basic Design department called THE HERMANNATORS. That band played mostly classic rock tunes at the annual Holiday party, as well as a retirement party. Through this band, Jezter found some guys in there to start a country cover band with called THE HILLNECK REDBILLIES. Country was definitely a genre that continued to call as he soon found a teacher to learn fiddle. Since he had already picked up other instruments along the way, including the mandolin, it wasn’t too long before he was performing with it. Upon his Michigan return, there were also more shows with SOOT and SOCIAL FEVER. Another new project was formed with the bassist of SOCIAL FEVER called THE DETROIT BASS MACHINE, which is still in the works. So, music pretty much grabbed Jezter and once again started pulling in multiple directions.
Another direction all together was Stand Up Comedy. Jezter was asked to do a benefit with one of his bands, but none could do it. So, he used a character he made up in Hollywood called ‘Merle Wilcox’ to do a stand up / improv harmonica routine. He found a couple guys from a band that performed before his set that played bongos and guitar that backed him up. He was the only comedy act of the day. The ‘Merle Wilcox’ character also found himself in THE HILLNECK REDBILLIES from time to time and was even requested by some bars. There also came the very first opportunity to do ‘Radio’, as he was asked to be on an internet radio show called ‘Jezter and the Dogg' on tapdetroit.com. This was short lived, but it got him into doing some commercials for fun, as well as an invite on another show later, ‘Medical Mondays’. He continues to support tapdetroit.com, and occasionally still appears on ‘Medical Mondays’.
This is actually a piece of the ‘puzzle’ that hasn’t been discussed throughout this biography, but it involves his beliefs outside of music and entertainment. Jezter has been a big supporter of Hemp and Cannabis since college. BUDDHA FULLA RYMEZ was actually a band that also supported Hemp and Cannabis and performed at Hash Bash, as well as a lot of High Times events at a place called Rainbow Farms Campground in Vandalia, MI. Jezter was actually in High Times’ August 2002 issue in a picture on page thirteen, with BUDDHA FULLA RYMEZ at Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash. But, the Hemp and Cannabis movement is another thing that ultimately changed a lot of things that we’ll get to later.
Then there was 2012. Jezter, as well as many others worldwide, called this time ‘The Shift’. Without getting into all of what that means here, it was basically a time when his thinking processes changed. Things that seemed important before then weren’t quite as important after that. So, back to music for a bit. THE HILLNECK REDBILLIES played and performed for about two years, as well as once with THE HERMANNATORS out at a bar (THE HERMANNATORS would usually only play at closed corporate events). SOOT also started performing from time to time again. Eventually, Jezter started working on songs with other people not associated with bands just for fun. There was also continued work with RED SNOW, as well as flying back and forth from Detroit to Hollywood for shows. It then became time once again for Jezter to get back into voiceover, so he found a teacher in Michigan, Kate Hart, and took her class through michiganvoiceover.com.
The wheels were spinning, but the activist that started growing in THREE WORD CURSE and SOOT was now fully ‘rooted’ and action was taken as he walked out on his job at Ford Motor Company to help others and do the things he really loved to do. This taking charge, as well as that 2012 shift, also moved him out of the city and back to the country in the middle of Michigan. It also put an end to Ford for good. Although it helped to do a lot of things, Ford ultimately ended up taking too much of his time. Also, after multiple attempts to make a difference in the industry, Jezter said, “It became clear the company wasn’t going in a direction that would benefit mankind, but only enslave it further.” After leaving Ford there was once again time for creativity.
It wasn’t long before Jezter was in the studio with his favorite engineer/producer, Kevin ‘Wes’ Williams, making music again for fun. It started back again with RED SNOW, then to THE DETROIT BASS MACHINE, and on to some of the music started with people that weren’t in bands. He also finished his Commercial Voiceover Demo with Kate Hart, which led to Jezter being asked to teach his first Voiceover Workshop for ‘Character Development’ through michiganvoiceover.com. Now, fully armed with Animation and Commercial Voiceover Demos, a new avenue is opened and ready for travel. The music will obviously continue, as now there is work being done on yet another SOOT Album with a new lineup; including previous drummer, Mike Scully, co-founder on guitar, Benjamin Woodside, Jezter on vocals, harmonica, and possibly violin, Jezter's nephew, Joe Preston, on Bass, and old friend from The Gruesomes (The Gruebles) / The Thirsties / The PMF, Adam Lacca, on second guitar. This material is already showing progress and with the help of Kevin "Wes" Williams is sure to be another great release. Stay Tuned! No telling what could happen next!
THIS IS 46 YEARS OF JEZTER DETROIT!
And, it’s the Year of the Jezter!
I am an Entertainer here to spread Love and Positive Energy! ~Jezter Detroit aka Mark Preston
I'm proud to announce my freedom from myself.
I love to perform. Currently, I perform with SOOT and RED SNOW, but have performed with many many more.
I have no fear of the stage, no matter if it be music, stand-up comedy, or acting.
I also play some instruments.
I started with a harmonica, then to guitar, bass, congas, mandolin, and fiddle. I'm also planning to learn more including the saxophone and pedal steel guitar.
VOCALIST JEZTER was awarded the Outstanding Rock Vocalist Award at the Detroit Music Awards in 2005,