Jeff Coffin

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Jeff Coffin
Jeff Coffin.jpg
Coffin performing in 2008
Background information
Born (1965-08-05) August 5, 1965 (age 52)
Genres Jazz, Fusion, Alternative Rock, Pop Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Composer, Educator
Instruments saxophones, clarinets, flutes
Years active 1991–present
Associated acts Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band, The Mu'tet, Umphrey's McGee
Website Jeff Coffin's website
Notable instruments

Jeff Coffin (born August 5, 1965) is a saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator. He is a three-time Grammy Award winner as a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and played with them from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Coffin began touring with Dave Matthews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009 following the death of founding member LeRoi Moore. Coffin also fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet, with which he released the album Into the Air on September 4, 2012.


Born in Massachusetts and raised in New England, Jeff began playing alto sax in fifth grade while living in Dexter, Maine under the tutelage of the one band director for the entire district, Arthur Lagassee. He attended the Summer Youth Music School at the University of New Hampshire for two summers in the 1980s, which he credits for his love of the music community and his love of mentoring young musicians.[1] In 1983, after graduating from Spaulding High School in Rochester, NH, Jeff attended the University of New Hampshire for two years. In 1985, Coffin moved on to study at the University of North Texas, in Denton, TX, where he graduated with a B.A. in Music Education in 1990. A recipient of a Jazz Studies grant from the NEA, in 1991, he studied under saxophonist Joe Lovano.[2]

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones[edit]

Coffin joined Béla Fleck and the Flecktones in March 1997, and performed on every Flecktones album from 1998's Left of Cool through 2008's Jingle All the Way.

After being asked to stay on with DMB in late 2008, and due to extensive touring requirements, Jeff left the Flecktones after 14 years. He does not appear on their latest album, Rocket Science, which features original band member Howard Levy in his place. Former Flecktones bandmate Futureman will be performing with JC & the Mu'tet in August 2012.

Victor Wooten and Futureman have both contributed as 2/3 of the rhythm section in an upcoming book & play-a-long that Jeff wrote all the music for and is writing in collaboration with the visionary music educator Caleb Chapman titled The Articulate Jazz Musician.

During Coffin's tenure in the band, the Flecktones won Grammy Awards for the following recordings:

Dave Matthews Band[edit]

On July 1, 2008, Coffin joined Dave Matthews Band for their 2008 summer tour after saxophonist LeRoi Moore was injured in an ATV accident. Though the stint was originally planned to be temporary, Moore died unexpectedly of complications from his injuries on August 19, 2008, and Coffin has remained with the band since. Among other things, he completed the saxophone work Moore had left unfinished on the band's 2009 studio album, Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King. Coffin's first complete album with the band was 2012's Away from the World.

Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet[edit]

Since the late 1990s Coffin has been recording and touring with his own band, "the Mu'tet". Taking the name from the word 'mutation', the Mu'tet reflects Coffin's philosophy that music must change and mutate in order to evolve.

A new Mu'tet studio recording titled Into the Air was released September 4, 2012 featuring Jeff Sipe, Kofi Burbridge, Felix Pastorius, Bill Fanning and special guest guitarist Lionel Loueke.

Other recordings by Coffin include: Live!, Duet (with Jeff Sipe), Mutopia, Bloom, Go Round, Commonality, Outside the Lines, and 3ioMusik (with Tom Giampietro and Mel Deal).

Notable sideman projects include recordings with Victor Wooten, Jeff Babko and Vinnie Colaiuta, Prasanna, JD Souther, Boyd Tinsley, Everyone Orchestra, and Jonathan Scales, as well as hundreds of commercial studio sessions.

Jeff has his own record label called Ear Up Records ( - under which he released two Mu'tet recordings, Into the Air and Live! and the trio recording 3ioMusik.

Jeff played with the Soul Rebels Brass Band on Jam Cruise 2013.


Coffin has given over 300 music clinics at colleges, universities, and other schools both nationally and internationally, where his teaching style has won him numerous accolades from educators.[citation needed] Coffin is an advocate for music programs in public schools. Since 2015, Coffin has served as Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.


The Jeff Coffin Ensemble[edit]

With Béla Fleck and the Flecktones[edit]


Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet[edit]

With Jeff Babko & Vinnie Colaiuta[edit]

With Jonathan Scales[edit]

  • Plot/Scheme (2008)
  • Character Farm and Other Short Stories (2011)

Jon Foreman[edit]

With Dave Matthews Band[edit]

With Charlie Peacock[edit]

  • Arc of the Circle (2006)

With Umphrey's McGee[edit]

With Jeff Sipe[edit]

  • Duet (2011)

With The Triodes[edit]

  • Chunked (2009)

With Cage The Elephant[edit]

"Teeth, Hypocrite, Black Widow" (2013)

With Guitar Prasanna[edit]

"Be the change" (2004)[3]


Melophobia Booklet.

External links[edit]