jc education

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photo by Greg Kessler

“When Jeff works as a clinician he does more than just demonstrate the masterful skills for which he has been recognized by the media and his many fans; simply put, he inspires…many of our students told me that working with Jeff has changed their lives and how they approach music.” – CALEB CHAPMAN ~ Caleb Chapman Music/Director Crescent Super Band, President of the Jazz Education Network (JEN)

“Jeff Coffin is a wonderful musician and a great clinician. His passion for the music and his sincerity toward students make a great combination. I highly recommend him.” – DR. BOB WASHUT ~ Professor of Music/University of Northern Iowa

JEFF COFFIN is a musician, educator, clinician and author of the highest level. He inspires students to explore and to find the joy in music. Students and educators from around the world have experienced first hand Coffin’s ability to reach players of all ages with his passion for teaching. Jeff tours with Dave Matthews Band, fronts his own band, The Mu’tet, teaches at Vanderbilt University, presents clinics around the country, is co-author of ‘The Articulate Jazz Musician’ with Caleb Chapman and is finishing his own books ‘The Saxophone Book’ and ‘JC & the Mu’tet Play Along Volume 1′ which will be available in early 2016.

Jeff is available for a variety of clinics, working with big bands, keynote speeches, concerts, masterclasses, Artist-in-Residence, etc…

jeff-coffin-bell-to-ear“The needs of your students are very important to me and I will tailor what I do to most benefit them.” – JC

Original JC Big Band Charts are available from UNC Jazz Press. New charts available!

To bring Jeff Coffin to your school or store, please contact Brian Horner: bhorner@soundartistsupport.com / 615.364.7656

photo by Greg Kessler

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Please ask about support from our incredible education partners, D’Addario & Yamaha.


Using the spoken/written word as a model for teaching improvisation.

Opening Composition / ‘Should I Stand’

We learn the language of music the same way we learn to speak English, French, Spanish or even Japanese…through imitation. No one has to know the alphabet before they get to talk. That would be absurd. So, why do we expect students to know all 12 notes before they start to improvise? What does the word improvisation mean to you?

We should encourage students to explore their instruments while developing technique and learning the fundamentals.

We will discuss and demonstrate how to use spoken or written language as a vehicle for improvisation using the process of imitation. Let’s talk about fundamentals first though.




We learn to talk from people we imitate, listen to and speak with and we eventually find our own ‘voice’. We find our musical voice the same way – from people we imitate, listen to and play with. Most often, our greatest musical influences end up being the people we play with.


Use a phrase someone says or writes, a poem, a haiku, a speech, etc…Practice by saying it a few times out loud, then, play the phrase (syllabically) on one note. Try it in different registers and with different notes, dynamics and intervals. Put the ‘phrase’ into a blues solo…

Student Participation Composition / The ‘What If I’ Blues



Jeff continues to stress and reinforce that the fundamentals are the essential building blocks or “roots” of music.

“Without roots the tree doesn’t grow. The topics I cover are essential to the continued growth of ALL musicians at ALL levels.” These fundamentals are the ‘tools for your narrative.’ (JC)

A solo or group performance by Jeff starts things off and what follows is a thoughtful, open, candid back and forth discussion with the students about what they heard…eventually re-connecting everything back to The Big 5 Fundamentals that Coffin considers to be the most essential for students. Student participation is kindly required.







Jeff discusses the fundamental elements of music in a way that is interesting, honest, and thought provoking. He also musically demonstrate answers to many of the questions students ask to help make this an interactive, creative, unique and inspiring approach to teaching. This is education that will last far beyond the time your students spend with Jeff in the classroom or concert hall!



Contact: Sound Artist Support
Brian Horner / SAS
Ph: 615.364.7656 | Fax: 615.807.3087

“Jeff and Rashawn’s clinic was incredibly musical and educational with sincere anecdotes of being professional musicians on the road and in the studio with Dave Matthews and other artists.”
– TOM SCOGNAMIGILIO ~ The Music Den/Randolph, NJ

 photo credit: Rodrigo Simas

Caleb Chapman / Jeff Coffin (Alfred Music)

00-40591‘This book is much needed and should be standard study in jazz education.” – Randy Brecker


A proven approach for mastering the fundamentals of jazz articulation, phrasing, and interpretation. The included CD has demo and play-along tracks featuring a one-of-a-kind quartet of JEFF COFFIN (tenor sax), VICTOR WOOTEN (acoustic bass), ROY “Futureman” WOOTEN (drums) & CHRIS WALTERS (piano)

“Check out The Articulate Jazz Musician!” – Gordon Goodwin

Available at Alfred.com

“When Jeff Coffin talks about music it comes from the heart as well as from a wealth of varied experiences in and out of music. He has an informative, yet organic approach to working with students, where the most important thing of all takes place: They come away inspired and eager to continue their search. Jeff is one of us triple threats. He plays great, writes great, and knows how to teach someone how to teach themselves.. AND he is a great guy to boot!”

Bob Mintzer ~ Saxophonist, Jazz Professor University of Southern California (USC)

jeff clinicJeff Coffin, saxophonist with Dave Matthews Band since 2008, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones (1997-2010), and his own group the Mu’tet, is a 3x Grammy winner, an internationally-renowned performer/composer, an internationally-recognized educator, a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician, a D’Addario Performing Artist, an author and has presented over 300 clinics around the world to rave reviews! Public school music education is very important to Jeff and he continues to carry that message whenever, wherever, and to whomever he can. Jeff Coffin brings an awe-inspiring energy and passion, a caring and uniquely personal approach, and his extraordinary qualifications, to every clinic and performance he presents. “It’s all about the students!” – JC

Students, and audiences alike, from Farmington, Maine to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Perth, Australia, Nashville TN to Johannesburg, South Africa, to Mexico City, Mexico have been astonished by Jeff’s unique teaching and performing abilities and techniques. His listening, improvisation, and performance clinics have helped countless students gain valuable insight and a deeper understanding of music. His seemingly instant connection, high energy, and rapport with students of all ages and all levels brings continued high praise from players, parents, and instructors from around the world. Students will carry the information given in these clinics for a very long time.

*BIG BAND CHARTS AVAILABLE…University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press!

Bring JC in to perform these charts with your Big Band. (Audio Examples)

The Inside of the Outside (comp. Coffin/arr. Chris McDonald)

Move Your Rug (comp. Coffin/arr. Ryan Middagh)

12th & Edgehill (comp. Coffin/arr. Ryan Middagh)

jc clinicSweet Magnolias (comp. Coffin/arr. Ryan Middagh)

Espoo You (comp. Coffin/arr. Ryan Middagh)

As Light Through Leaves (comp. Coffin/arr. Bob Washut)

The Mad Hatter Rides Again (comp. Coffin/arr. Dave Joyner)

Dewey (comp. Coffin/arr. Michael Jenner)

Tall & Lanky (comp. Coffin/arr. Bret Zvacek)

Wobble (comp. Coffin/arr. Bret Zvacek)

Fruitcake (comp. Coffin/arr. David Joyner)

Weird Beard (comp. Coffin/arr. David Joyner)

I have been writing for them since 2008 and there are some good articles on all sorts of topics. Check it out!

For those of you who have asked about the method I use for working on my reeds, here is a YouTube link to the ATG (Against The Grain) Method. This is what I have been doing for more than 10 years and it balances my reeds very quickly and I can get nearly every reed to performance level. Click here to see a demonstration.

This is the best method I have ever found and it’s an easy method to use. It only takes me a couple minutes per reed!

PAST CLINICS INCLUDE: University of North Texas, University of Southern California, Berklee College of Music,  University of Miami, University of Toronto, Fisk University, North Carolina State University, University of North Florida, University of Northern Colorado, University of Northern Iowa, Andover High School (Andover, MA), New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL), Spaulding High School (Rochester, NH), University of Iowa, The Music School (American Fork, UT), Stephen F. Austin State University (Austin, TX), JazzImprov Convention (2007), IAJE (2008), University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, Ohio University, University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin, University of New Hampshire, University of Texas (Arlington), Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Perth Australia), JEN Conference, University of Capetown, and many, many more…


“Jeff Coffin’s clinic was outstanding. After a virtuoso solo saxophone demonstration he challenged the students to recall all that they had heard, which not surprisingly ended up covering just about every aspect of playing the saxophone and improvising music. Jeff’s his abilities across so many “bags,” along with his dedication to sharing his music and knowledge, is inspiring. The clinic ended with a group students performing alongside the maestro; needless to say, they were psyched.” – GARY KELLER ~ Professor of Saxophone/University of Miami

“Jeff Coffin is truly a fine player and an excellent clinician.  His energy is infectious.” – DAVE SEILER ~ Director of Jazz Studies/Professor of Saxophone, University of NH, Durham, NH

“Jeff’s unique ability to connect with all levels of students is astounding!   His clinic presentations on jazz and how to listen are very informative and deeply insightful. All students involved were totally captivated for over two hours!” – MILES OSLAND ~ Director of Jazz Studies/Professor of Saxophone, University of Kentucky

“Jeff Coffin is a wonderful musician and a great clinician. His passion for the music and his sincerity toward students make a great combination. I highly recommend him.” – DR. BOB WASHUT ~ Professor of Music/University of Northern Iowa

“When Jeff works as a clinician he does more than just demonstrate the masterful skills for which he has been recognized by the media and his many fans; simply put, he inspires…many of our students told me that working with Jeff has changed their lives and how they approach music.” – CALEB CHAPMAN ~ Caleb Chapman Music/Director Crescent Super Band, Orem, Utah

“Having Jeff work with our students was an incredible experience. His knowledge and commitment to the music was refreshing and invigorating not just for the students, but for the music educators as well!  Jeff provided an inspirational journey for everyone!!” – TONY WHITE ~ Coordinator, Performing Arts Los Angeles Unified School District, LA, CA

“Having Jeff come into to play with my Jazz Ensemble has completing changed my students approach to jazz and improvisation! Before, my students were timid about soloing and playing what was in their soul. After Jeff worked with them, they were ALL eager to solo! Jeff works EXTREMELY well with both the middle school and high school age groups and will completely transform your ensemble for the better! I will be using him again!” – TOM WALLIS ~ Director, Lawrence North High School Bands, Indianapolis, IN

“I had seen Jeff perform with the Flecktones on several occasions, so I knew of his ability to connect with the audience and make exciting things happen on stage. What I never imagined was his ability to connect with high school kids and make even more exciting things happen in the classroom! We had Jeff join our 125 jazz ensemble students one afternoon recently for a sax masterclass, followed by a jam session with our top band. It as magic for everyone in the room, and especially me. I strongly encourage any jazz teacher who needs to give his or her jazz students a kick in the pants to have Jeff come in for a workshop. Trust me, this guy is the real deal with kids.” – JIM WARRICK ~ Coordinator of Jazz Studies, New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL

“In my fifteen years of directing our university’s premier jazz ensemble we have had the privilege of bringing in a number of the most recognized jazz artists today. While their visits to campus always leave our students inspired, never has anyone reached the students to the degree Jeff Coffin did. I have never seen them respond with the eagerness he was able to inspire in them. Whether playing his saxophone or talking about the importance of listening to music on multiple levels, his approach captured the students like I have never seen. Jeff left our campus with a new, and rather large, following. Jazz fans from the community continue to sing his praises every time I encounter them, which doesn’t surprise me since they bought every CD he brought with him within 15 minutes of the end of his appearance with our student ensemble. Given the opportunity, I would tell any high school or college jazz band director to bring Jeff Coffin in to work with your students.” – DR. GARY WURTZ ~ Director, Jazz Band, Stephen F. Austin State Univ., Nacogdoches, TX

“Thanks for a wonderful clinic and concert. Our students were very pumped up about the whole experience. The concert was inspiring and very high energy, and the clinic was not only full of great information, but was presented in a way that way easy to understand. Thanks again for a great job!” – CHRIS McCORMICK ~ Director of Jazz, Tennessee Tech University

“The entire process was great for the band, from announcing our first ever guest artist/clinician to stepping up the rehearsal intensity with Jeff’s music, through the clinic, rehearsal with Jeff and performance experiences. But the total impact really didn’t hit me until we played a couple gigs a week after Jeff’s visit. The band sounded better than ever, and was just plain ready to play. Members who I never before had been able to coax into improv situations stood up and played some things that worked! The interest is at an all time high, and several players have inquired about joining in the fall. The investment that we made in having Jeff work with us will continue to pay dividends for quite some time!” – TOM LUNDBERG ~ Director of Jazz, Walters State Community College, Sevierville, TN

“Jeff Coffin’s performance with my University Jazz Ensemble and his clinic the next day was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my twenty-year teaching career. Jeff’s playing was 100% excitement and his music was a ball to play. We got a standing ovation on the FIRST number! In his clinic, all the attending educators and the local music store sponsors were delighted at how accessible and inspiring Jeff was to the students. No one should miss the chance to hang with Jeff Coffin, a first-rate musician and a beautiful human being to be around.” – DR. DAVID JOYNER ~ Director of Jazz Studies/Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

“We just wanted you know that the Master Class you gave at Brighton Music Center (Pittsburgh, PA) on 9/11/06 was the best we ever had. You immediately connected with the group of students and adults that were in attendance. You have a unique ability to make learning exciting and fun.
Feedback we receive has been very positive. Students especially loved the part of the class that included them playing along with you. You are an inspiration and we appreciate you sharing your knowledge of music with all of us. Don’t forget to stop and see us anytime you are in town.” – TERRY MAGURSKY & the staff at BRIGHTON MUSIC, Pittsburgh, PA

“Jeff’s clinic was exciting, thought provoking, and inspirational.  A masterful teacher, Jeff is able to connect with students on  all levels and guide them to the next level.” – TIM ISHII ~ Director of Jazz Studies – University of Texas in Arlington, Arlington, TX

“Jeff, I wanted to let you know that even a year after your visit to Andover, your presence has had lasting and far reaching effects. There is a real vacuum in a young musicians life that you fill with the kind of message you deliver. The passion and love for the artform of music is the root of it all. It’s what makes us want to be virtuoso. It’s what makes us want to seek new experiences and opens our minds and hearts to new music. It’s what keeps music in our lives, no matter what path we choose. That’s the message my kids received, and it still echoes through the room twelve months later.” – JOE WRIGHT ~ Director of Music, Andover H.S, Andover, MA

“Bringing Jeff Coffin to our college was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Musically, he is in a league of his own. His playing brought the house down. But beyond that, his attitude toward music, and music education specifically, was so upbeat and positive that our participating students couldn’t help but be inspired by him. I have heard nothing but positive comments from everyone involved. He helped our students perform better than they thought they could, and that is no small accomplishment. Jeff is truly a unique individual, and a great guy. Bringing him to your school is one of the best things you could do.” – ED JACOBS ~ Asstistant Professor of Music/Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville, IL

“Our experience with Jeff was totally inspirational. The concert was one of the most exciting and well attended concerts ever at our university. Not only was Jeff completely supportive of our efforts he is a wonderful clinician and educator. He didn’t just come in and blow, he took the time to work on the finer points of phrasing, feel and concepts that only an artist on his level can. I feel that his commitment to the spirit of improvisational music and composition is exactly what all university jazz ensembles need to experience. I highly recommend Jeff to any and all music programs interested in raising the bar in their ensembles.” – JOE CAPLOE ~ Director of Percussion & Jazz Studies, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

“We were completely knocked out by Jeff’s creativity, energy, and enthusiasm during his campus visit at UNI. He brought skill, knowledge, and vision to his presentation, and packaged it all in real accessibility. I look forward to the opportunity to bring him back.” – CHRIS MERZ ~ Director of Jazz Studies/University of Northern Iowa

“Jeff Coffin was absolutely wonderful with the students. His playing simply blew everyone away and his attitude was inspiring as well. Our band has never played that well. I wish we could bring him in every year…Jeff’s workshop on listening was excellent as well and the participants had a chance to contribute. He has a great way of drawing everyone in and making them hear the elements he thinks are important. Highly recommended!!” – STEVE GRISMORE ~ Professor of Jazz/Univ. of Iowa & Augustana U., Rock Island, IL

“Jeff Coffin is an excellent clinician. He exposes students to an open approach to improvised music in a very straight forward way.” – RODNEY WHITAKER ~ Professor of Jazz, University of Michigan, Bassist ~ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra

“Jeff was a faculty member at the Maine Jazz Camp from 1992-96. He brought energy, creativity, drive, passion, and a willingness to give of himself above and beyond the boundaries of class time. Our students not only learned something about music; they learned something about themselves.” – STEVE GROVER ~ Maine Jazz Camp Director 1992-94, Faculty 1984-97

“Jeff and Futureman were exceptional. They are great clinicians and were really wonderful to our guests. I hope we can do it again sometime!” – LAURA L. CUPIT ~ Amro Music Store

“The Jeff Coffin clinic was everything I hoped for and more for my students. He, and his group, were informative, engaging and entertaining. The kids have been buzzing about it now for months since. Highly recommended!” – BRYAN KYROUAC ~ Director of Jazz Band at Northbrook Middle School

“Jeff is the one of the most entertaining, thoughtful, creative, and supportive artists that I have had the pleasure to deal with in my 20 years of teaching. In addition to being amazed by Jeff’s musicianship, our students were amazed at how personable, approachable, and helpful he was. Jeff has a joy for music that is infectious and has influenced me and my students for the rest of our lives.” – KEVIN CARROLL ~ Director of Bands & Percussion Ensembles at Saint Patrick High School

“Jeff was wonderful with the students; he was able to further secure their commitment to music by inspiring them with possibilities it offers.”  – JERRY BABCOCK ~ Store Manager at Schmitt Music

“Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet put on a fun and very educational clinic for our students.  He took the time to listen to questions from the students and gave them great answers.  He encouraged the students to embrace their own unique perspectives on music and to keep learning.  Jeff and the band were kind, personable, and the concert really rocked the house!” – CHAD PAETZNICK ~ Director of Bands, St. Pius X Catholic High School

“Jeff, as well as all members of the band, were incredibly engaging to the students at the University of Georgia, offering a wide range of useful information.” – DAVE D’ANGELO ~ Jazz Band Director, University of Georgia

“I have hosted jazz events for 3 decades, and have brought in local as well as nationally known jazz artists/educators. Jeff is by far, hands down, the best of the best. Jeff not only talks the talk but walks the walk. His ability to connect with students from 5th graders to HS seniors is amazing. Jeff is a natural teacher and is in constant “teacher-mode” always looking for the teachable moment and can relate ideas to everyday life. Not only does Jeff teach about music, but life lessons and his approach to life in general. Jeff’s messages have stayed with my kids long after he has left…what Jeff himself calls the “Long-Tail.” – RON PEDERSON ~ Jazz Band Director, Burlington High School

“Jeff Coffin did a masterful clinic with the jazz students at the Nashville School of the Arts.  His style of teaching is extremely engaging.  Jeff really makes the kids think about the ensemble during the rehearsal.  He is constantly asking questions and makes them have ownership.  Many times Jeff had students count off the band to start rather than counting them off himself.  Jeff Coffin is a master musician but also a master teacher.  I can’t wait to bring him in again!” – GLENN FUGETT ~ Nashville School of the Arts

“Jeff Coffin and Futureman taught an amazing class to our students! They were engaging, entertaining, full of useful and practical information. I knew Jeff and Futureman were truly gifted performers, but I was so impressed with their skill as educators. They were able to relate difficult concepts to a 5th grader as well as a senior, which is no easy task. I cannot say enough positive things about our experience with Jeff and Futureman, and I’d HIGHLY recommend all music educators to check out their materials and bring them into their schools!” – BOB BERTKE ~ St. Francis School 


~ Author of “The Saxophone Book” (2016 release)

~ Author of “JC & the Mu’tet Play Along” Volume 1 (2016 release)

~ Vanderbilt Faculty Member, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN (current)

~ YAMAHA Performing Artist/Clinician (current)

~ D’ADDARIO Performing Artist/Clinician (current)

~ Board Member W.O. Smith Community Music School, Nashville, TN (current)

~ Co-author ‘The Articulate Jazz Musician’ w/Caleb Chapman  (Alfred Music)

~ Contributing writer Halftime Magazine (current)

~ Bachelors in Music Education/University of North Texas (1990)

~ One O’Clock Lab Band Alumni (UNT)

~ Recipient NEA Jazz Studies Grant 1991 (studied with Joe Lovano)

~ Contributing writer – VandoJazz Saxophone Etude Book

~ Ongoing publication of Big Band Charts through the University of Northern Colorado Press

Photo/banner credits:
Line drawing by JC
‘visualize’ photo – Robert Hakalski
‘create’ photo – Robert Hakalski