Jeff Coffin

Jeff Coffin has a shaved head, a long twisty gotee and a tendency to play the alto and tenor sax at the same time. A three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Jeff was a jazz legend in the making long before Dave Matthews asked him to join his band in 2010. He plays the full range of saxophones, including a host of other woodwinds like the saxello, clarinet, and flute – all as if they were extensions of his own body and breath. Along with his unparalleled instrumental prowess, Jeff is a winsome, eclectic composer and arranger.

With such notable talent, Jeff has shared the stage and studio with a host of world-famous rock, country, jazz, and pop musicians, including the aforementioned Dave Matthews Band, Maceo Parker, Amos Lee, My Morning Jacket, Garth Brooks, Van Morrison, Phish, Willie Nelson, Widespread Panic and Kenny Chesney – just to name a few. A teacher at heart, Jeff delivered the keynote address at the 2014 Jazz Education Network, where he spoke of the importance of inspiration in his work and life. “As a saxophonist and lifetime breather, it’s fascinating to me that the word inspiration comes from the Latin in-spirare, which means to breathe in or inhale,” he said. “Without inspiration, we are only left with expiration. And expiration is an end, not a beginning.”

Music + Vitals

  • Video
  • Gear

    soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophone

    flute, alto flute

    clarinet, bass clarinet

    irish type whistles

    Yamaha Horns

    D’Addario Reeds

CHARLIE’S TIP : Upgrade to the Premium Account and receive the inside story on how Jeff and I record together, including gear, signal flow, and techniques we’ve perfected over the years. I’ll give you lots of game-changing tips on how to get the most out of your session with Jeff. P.S., when you book Jeff for your session, ask him how it is that a human can play two saxophones at once. Better yet, mention you’ve heard he has a project involving the classic Wurlitzter electric piano.

Charlie Peacock on Jeff

When I’ve done anything in jazz or improvisational music Jeff’s been there with me as a sage guide and friend. We created the recording Arc of the Circle together, played NYC’s jazz club The Standard, and even jammed with members of the Sun Ra Arkestra (look Sun Ra up and have your mind blown). Without a doubt, Jeff is one of the finest musicians on the planet. As a soloist he can be tasteful and ferocious. As an arranger he is peerless. His mixed woodwind arrangements on Arc of the Circle are achingly beautiful. His horn arrangements on my own No Man’s Land put a permanent smile on my face. I envy his enormous gifts and immaculate musical taste. I hope you get to work with him soon, whether remotely, or via tracking and overdubs here in Nashville.

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EXCLUSIVE: the inside story on how Jeff and I record together