Jesse Rehaut, is an Australian drummer, DJ, and audiophile, known professionally as JESSE R.E.O. His rhythmic journey began the moment he received his first drum kit as a teenager. He is now performing at arena show level.

Jesse is recognised as one-fifth of the Australian Funk band Jakubi who was notably scouted in 2015 by American record executive L.A. Reid. He has collaborated closely with idols Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, recording artist Macy Gray, and producer Scott Storch. He has also supported legendary artists such as Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Fat Freddy's Drop, The Suffers, and Ska music pioneers - Fishbone, Sublime.

With a career built on hard work, passion, and natural-born talent, he has come up through the live space, with regular appearances at major music festivals, theaters, and arenas all over the world, with standout performances at the Seoul Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazz Festival which drew a crowd of over 40,000 people.


Growing up in a family of singers and musicians, his profound passion for rhythm became evident early on as he absorbed the beats emanating from his father, a creole Mauritian and key musical influence. As a dedicated drummer himself, Jesse would often observe his father showcasing his skills over the years. He'd effortlessly transform any space into his drum set, crafting impromptu solos that would captivate him and his brother. These moments of spontaneous performances were his most accessible and frequent encounters with live music during childhood.

This musical upbringing instilled in Jesse a deep appreciation for diverse cultural influences, which continued to shape his journey. His grandmother, Nadia Shahine, was a prominent figure in the Australian Arabic music scene during the 70s and 80s.

Born in Melbourne's deep southeast, Jesse's mother recalls her son working seven days a week just to afford cymbals. He received his first formal drum lesson in his late teens with The Cat Empire's master drummer Will Hull-Brown. This pivotal period introduced Jesse to Jazz, Latin, Afro-Cuban.


Jakubi—A collective of Naarm/Melbourne musicians—was formed in 2012. The band quickly built a loyal following, releasing their first single, 'Can't Afford It All' in 2013 and soon after self-funding their first US tour. The band were selling out 300-500 capacity rooms from New York City to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, and within no time, they had caught the attention of music mogul L.A Reid, signing their first major label deal with Epic Records.

In the years that followed, the band worked primarily out of LA, in studios such as Record Plant, Jim Henson, Paramount, and Windmark. They became full-time musicians, writing and recording, and working with different producers, all while maintaining a full touring schedule. A standout moment was their six-month collaboration with legends Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, they absorbed invaluable knowledge and stories while working closely in the studio,and sharing meals together. This collaboration marked a significant milestone in Jesse's music career.

During this time, Jesse was a resident DJ at clubs across Melbourne, including Southside's 161 and Northside's Glamorama, and was deeply involved in the city's live music scene. Additionally, he was part of the New York Cats, a collective he formed with his two cousins in 2012. They aimed to strengthen and sustain the arts movement and the diverse community of like-minded creatives within the city. They achieved this goal through weekly events held every Sunday for three years, supported by the local community. The collective, consisting of artists, DJs, musicians, film-makers, and dancers, focused on welcoming all cultures and celebrating differences within the crew, strengthening the arts community.

In 2018, he received an advance from the label when signing to Jam & Lewis's revived Perspective Records through Capitol Records, allowing him to fund private lessons with Robi Parolin while studying music at Drumtek, he performed his recital in front of highly respected drum set educator Frank Corniola. He memorably recalls Frank reciting to him a quote from Miles Davis, 'It takes a long time to sound like yourself', igniting his own pursuit to further craft his sound.

That year, Jesse traveled to Cuba to study and take one-on-one lessons with Cuban multi-instrumentalist Redy Cobas in Havana. Cobas would introduce a rhythm, and they would spend the entire day jamming together, repeating these sessions throughout Jesse's month-long stay. Despite the inability to communicate verbally, they formed a deep connection through the language of Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms.

Career Updates

In 2019, Jakubi performed their final show supporting Tash Sultana at The Forum in Melbourne before disbanding.

Jesse has extensively toured with Tash Sultana. His appearences at events like the Montreal Jazz Festival, Bonnaroo, and supporting Coldplay underscores his increasing prominence in the global music scene. During these tours, Jesse has gained valuable insights into live and studio sound production, acquiring knowledge on the operations of large-scale setups at music festivals, arenas, and stadiums.

In addition to his performance career, Jesse has focused on musical education, taking drum lessons with mentor Benny Greb in Germany. He has also built a home studio for continued studies and recording, drawing from his experiences working with live music engineers worldwide.

Future Endeavours

Jesse continues to bring his soulful energy to venues worldwide with artist Tash Sultana, recently concluding a two-year world tour spanning the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, and Australia.

During his time off the road, he intends to continue crafting his own sound in his studio, engineering, and studying to push his craft further. He plans to dive deeper into the audiophile journey, exploring the realm of Hi-Fi sound, record collecting, and intentional listening sessions. With plans to design and build a sound system in the near future, Jesse is excited about the prospect of gaining a deeper understanding of sound propagation through the process of speaker design.

He is currently delving deeper into his roots, cultivating a richer understanding of, the traditional music styles from Mauritius, Sega and Seggae. Having recently spent a month immersed in these cultural influences, he is also exploring rhythms from North Africa and the Middle East. Through these musical traditions, Jesse feels a profound connection to the places, people, and the ancestors, contributing to the perpetuation of their rich history.

In addition to his cultural exploration, Jesse is filling the schedule with studio work, expanding his session work, and is keen on collaborating with drum companies to further his impact in the music industry.

Jesse laughing

Even with such remarkable achievements, Jesse remains humble about his journey, describing himself as 'just a very passionate and polite half Mauritian, half Lebanese kid from Doveton, with endless amounts of drive and determination.' He believes that's all it takes to make dreams come true whilst declaring that 'THE WORLD NEEDS MORE FUNK,' celebrating the black music style that promotes unity and oneness. Jesse expresses deep gratitude for the music, considering it not just a genre but a lifestyle. He is a true advocate, believing in its power to bring people together and create solidarity through locked rhythms, where all members contribute to a solid groove.

Jesse's enthusiasm and loving nature are highly contagious and respected by all who encounter him. He radiates with the essence of soul and funk while embodying a laid-back pure enjoyment in making music that effortlessly channels his rhythmic spirit.