During 8th grade Jeff was asked to play traditional music for a video his class wrote, performed and produced. The project, titled Natchez Trace Television, is part of the Tracing Our Trace project funded by the National Geographic Society and the Mississippi Department of Education. It was distributed to all of the schools in the state of Mississippi as a learning tool on the Natchez Trace. Also, he has been listed as an artisan for the school district and is requested by teachers and students to perform programs at the schools.
At the age of 14, Jeff placed 2nd at the Jimmy Rogers Memorial Festival with his version of Black Mountain Rag that included blinding speed and intricate string bends. This same year Jeff placed 1st at the Neshoba County Fair Youth Talent Competition by playing Bill Monroeâ€™s Blue Moon of Kentucky. Jeff has also placed in the top five at the Southeast Regional Mountain Dulcimer Competition held in Mountain View, AR. Along with his active calendar of competition dates he is also very involved with music at his school and church. He plays the clarinet and mountain dulcimer (yes, mountain dulcimer) in his high school band. In his sophomore year the high school marching band played a rendition of Aaron Copeland's Hoe Down that included a dulcimer solo played by Jeff. This was a first in marching band history and had everyone talking about the mountain dulcimer. The band took their show to competitions and was rated All Superior at every competition they attended. As a member of his church worship team he plays the dulcimer every Sunday morning during the service.
With the release of his first CD, Itâ€™s Dulcimer Time, Jeff has opened yet another door in his career. He has created three original compositions. With these you can get a feel for the wide range of Jeff's talent. As his musical knowledge has grown, he has discovered that the dulcimer is not limited to one style of music. The CD is full of life and represents the interests that we all had as a teenager, great music and hot cars. It includes rock and roll, heart breaking ballads, blues and some fast paced dance tunes.
Jeff will continue to introduce the dulcimer to young and old alike. He can capture your heart with the traditional songs and hymns and capture the attention of the young person in us all with some Rock and Roll. Jeff teaches both private lessons and workshops, he also performs at festivals. His goal is to cross the many bridges of music and introduce the dulcimer to different styles of music. Jeff firmly believes that if you can hear it you can play it on a dulcimer.
Check out the artist's website:
1. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
2. When The Day Comes
3. Deep Elm Blues
4. Westphalia Waltz
6. Faded Love
7. Spider Bit The Baby
9. Your Cheatin' Heart
10. Under The Double Eagle
11. Norwegian Wood
12. Blue Moon of Kentucky
13. Mississippi Sawyer
14. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
15. Hoe Down/Soldier's Joy