About Us

Here are the people behind Rhapsody Jazz Cafe.

Mr. Jesse Johnson, General Manager

Jesse Johnson entered restaurant management in 1988. He brings over 30 years of management experience to our team. He also has experience in information technology, data security, and business management solutions. He has an Associate’s in Computer Programming and Operations, Bachelor of Science in Technology Management, and an MBA in Technology Management. His successful career in the food industry ensures a steady hand in achieving profitability.

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Bria Willis, Co-Owner

A proud mother of a beautiful and energetic 6-month-old princess named Berkleigh Antoinette. As a third generation Bulldog, graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. As a chemist, she has worked in a pharmaceutical lab in Huntsville and at the Indiana State Department of Health in Indianapolis. When those contracts ended, it was hard for her to find a chemist position that was just right for. So, she ended up working retail gaining clients and following, due to her catering to clients’ needs as well as her people skills. After talking to mom about her thoughts and concerns for her future, she came up with an idea and that day, we became business partners! I’m new to the entrepreneur world but not the business world! However, she feels she has a multi-talented and well-educated mother who has a vision and she’s here to help execute that vision.



Dr. Deidra Willis, VISIONARY, Owner

B.S. in Accounting, M.S. Early Childhood Education and Education Administration, an Ed.D in Organizational Leadership, Community Leader, retired teacher/administrator, born and raised in NW Huntsville and a 15 year small business owner of DJW IMPACT Consulting LLC (specializing in accounting and business development), Excel Academy and NOW adding The Rhapsody. As a lover of music and a food connoisseur, one of her lifetime dreams is to open a live entertainment restaurant.

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Mr. Jese Hawthorne Jr., Co-Owner , Chief Development Officer

He also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President at Its Not Paint Corporation (25 years). Jese manages the focus and operation of it by providing strategic direction for marketing enthusiasm and forms imperative partnerships with other prime contractors and vendors. Jese is a strong supporter of giving back to the Community. He has served on the Board Directors of four other Corporations. He earned his Bachelor's degree from The University Of Alabama In Huntsville. "As for impact's content strategist, Jese does more than wrangle commas.” With more than 26 years of hands-on service and inbound marketing experience, he's obsessed with innovating new ways of creating amazing new protective finishes for both, Military and Commercial applications that are absurdly useful and effective. No Matter which hat he's wearing, his goal is simple-to empower his team, organizations and thought leader to differentiate themselves and drive measurable results through game-changing content, and fight to always reach their individual Dreams.

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