Harley Hess earned his first acoustic guitar via magazine sales through St. Josephâ€™s School in DeWitt, IA at the age of 12. While watching the movie Purple Rain and spending weekends and summer time visits at his sisterâ€™s home, he was influenced by his brother-in-law, Ronnie Taylor, in which he quickly convinced his parents to purchase his first electric guitar and amplifier at the age of 15. By the age of 16, he had earned his first gig in a local rock band and developed a passion for performance. He continued to play primarily in rock bands throughout his college and early career days. He played for many years in the rock band Vertigo and has opened for and shared the stage with many national acts and emerging talent performers such as Pat Travers, Foreigner, Head East, Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt), Toshi Iseda, Geoff Moore, Scott Krippayne and Black Diamond.
At the age of 25, Harley became a Christian. At that time he began playing in a local church in his then home town of Mount Pleasant, IA. At that time he was attending Faith Christian Outreach Church, and under the leadership and direction of Pastor Monte Knudsen, his life and music career changed direction. He realized that he was able to reach and influence many â€œun-churchedâ€ friends with his music, and through Godâ€™s grace, many people have come to know and have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
God had plans for Harley and brought him and his family to Des Moines, IA. Harley immediately got involved in worship with many local churches. He has played locally at Point of Grace in Waukee, Third Reformed Church in Pella, Westview, Johnston E-Free and regularly appears at the following: Hope Lutheran in West Des Moines, Valley E-Free in West Des Moines, and First Federated in Des Moines. Harley is an active guitar instructor with an occasional secular engagement in his schedule. However, being a Christ-centered guitarist is his first priority. He continues to play with David Bush, a local Christian recording artist with national acclaim and Point of Light Music.
Harley continues to be blessed. His newest adventure is with Grammy nominee and eight-time Dove Award winner Jonathan Martin, as part of the Jonathan Martin Project and country music artist Jason Brown.