Jeff Coffin, touring saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band, will visit ACU to conduct a jazz clinic and perform with the student Jazz Ensemble in a free fall jazz concert in Cullen Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday.
Coffin is a three-time Grammy award winning musician and composer and has embarked on a variety of musical endeavors. Most recognized as a member of the popular group, The Dave Matthews Band, Coffin also tours internationally as the saxophonist for the Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, a bluegrass jazz group.
Coffin also performs with his own group, Mu’tet, and is known for his crossover appeal and range of musical skills and interests, said Derek Brown, director of jazz studies.
Coffin’s explorative approach to music is reflected on stage, where he is known to play with two saxes or incorporate guitar effects on his saxophone, according to his Web site.
Brown said he decided to invite Coffin to visit the university to give students the opportunity to learn from Coffin’s unique approach to music, as well as interact, rehearse and perform with him.
“He has just been one of my personal favorites,” Brown said. “I was always just attracted to his style of playing and just his risk-taking in his playing. He is not afraid to try some unusual things, and in jazz, creativity is what it’s all about.”
On Monday, Coffin will meet and rehearse with the ACU Jazz Ensemble and the faculty combo. An open clinic will be offered from 4:30-5 p.m. in the WPAC recital hall, and neighboring high schools, colleges and the community are invited to participate. The clinic will involve technique demonstrations, explanations of the “big five” fundamentals of musical growth, and a question-and-answer forum for students and interested participants.
The fall jazz concert will take place from 8-9 p.m. Tuesday in Cullen Auditorium, featuring the student jazz ensemble with Coffin on saxophone. Many pieces included in the program are Coffin’s own compositions.
Brown said he is looking forward to a concert in which Coffin can share his eclectic musical style, having drawn from every genre from jazz-rock fusion to Latin and swing.
“I think it will be a great time for everybody who comes,” Brown said. “Seeing and meeting a person at that professional level, face-to-face, is so much different than listening to it on a CD.”
Andrew Graham, senior music education major from San Angelo and member of the jazz band and jazz combo, will perform with Coffin at the concert.
Graham said he anticipates hearing the advice Coffin will offer during the clinic, as well as performing with him and the rest of the jazz combo.
“In music, it’s always great to have a professional to help in jazz, especially,” Graham said. “You learn jazz through listening to great jazz professional players.”