Rami Jaffee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rami Jaffee
Born (1969-03-11) 11 March 1969 (age 47)
Origin Los Angeles, United States
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Keyboards, accordion, harmonica
Years active 1989–present
Website http://www.ramijaffee.com
Notable instruments
Hammond B3
Mellotron M4000D
Farfisa Organ
Wurlitzer 200

Rami Jaffee (born 11 March 1969 in Los Angeles), is best known as the keyboardist of The Wallflowers and work for several bands and artists, including Foo Fighters, Pete Yorn, Soul Asylum, Stone Sour, Joseph Arthur and Coheed and Cambria.


Early life[edit]

Jaffee bought his first keyboard at age 13. He soon started to play with various local bands while attending Fairfax High School. During his high school years, he often spent time at Canter's Deli, down the street from his high school on Fairfax Avenue. Canter's Deli, or more specifically, The Kibitz Room (a small bar at the back of the deli), proved to be an important influence in Rami's musical career.

Rami briefly attended Santa Monica College after high school, but decided he'd learn more from the continued experience of playing music live. He began making a name for himself in and around Los Angeles as he developed his unique keyboard sound while playing with a number of local bands. Soon Rami was in high demand for studio work.[1]


Around 1989, Jakob Dylan and his friend Tobi Miller formed a group "the Apples." They were looking for a keyboard player. While asking around, Rami Jaffee's name constantly came up, but was initially rejected due to his reputation for not joining groups. Jaffee heard about Dylan's search through a mutual friend, and after listening to their demo tape quickly joined. Rami joined for the need to play music, rather than achieving success.

A few weeks later the Apples had changed their name to the Wallflowers, and played in a number of local clubs. Their performances earned them their first record deal with Virgin Records. In 1992, the Wallflowers released their first self-titled album.

They toured extensively through the U.S. and Canada in 1992 and the Spring of 1993. They opened for bands such as Cracker, the Spin Doctors and 10,000 Maniacs and headlined some shows themselves. When they returned home there was a shakeup at Virgin and they lost the two contacts that had originally been interested in the band's talent. The album wasn't a huge seller and the band soon felt that Virgin had lost interest in them. In addition, Virgin began trying to use the Dylan name to sell records— a tactic the band, and especially Jakob, refused to cater to. Eventually they asked to be let out of their contract. Virgin agreed, and they left in the summer of 1993. Unfortunately, the word got around that the band was "difficult", which led to almost a year of uninterest from the record companies. Rami explains:

"I was living at home and there was no money for anything. I would try to explain to friends that [getting out of our contract] was a good thing; but the bottom line was that we didn't have a deal anymore. I had a certain faith in playing Jakob's music, though. Somewhere between, 'Oh, this is definitely going to blow up,' and 'I don't care if it ever goes anywhere. I love these songs and I want to play with him.'"

During the dry spell, Rami kept that faith in Jakob and in the Wallflowers. He paid the bills by delivering pizza for Damiano's (across the street from Canter's Deli) and playing with local acts such as El Vez. Although his session appearances were becoming more frequent, and he had some enticing tour opportunities (such as with Lenny Kravitz), Rami had to make some tough decisions. "Jakob was always writing, trying to keep things going. I was always playing and doing sessions [in order to] make ends meet... I kept denying anything that would take me away from Jakob," said Rami (Jewish Exponent, 1998). It was also obvious to Rami that he had something to offer Jakob and the band... and especially the songs. "I believe in these songs and I'm here for the duration, because no one is writing songs like these anymore, songs that have room for a Hammond organ and me."

Rami's dedication stayed strong even in the face of uncertainty with record contracts and band membership. In 1994 the Wallflowers were signed by Interscope Records and they began to work on their second release. Simultaneously, Rami found himself in high demand as a studio musician, working frequently for other artists with producers Paul Fox (who produced the Wallflowers' debut), Matt Hyde, and Rick Neigher. Rami took nothing for granted. As a result, 1996 brought new albums by artists such as Rickie Lee Jones, the Hookers, Tina & the B-side Movement, Leah Andreone, Chalk Farm, and Phil Cody—all bearing the Jaffee name on their liner notes (often misspelled). Also released in 1996 was the Wallflowers' sophomore release, "Bringing Down the Horse," which went on to sell over 5 million copies.

The extensive tour and promotion that followed the release of the album helped them gain recognition. Between 1996 and 1997, the Wallflowers were featured in all of the industry magazines, received abundant radio play, appeared frequently on television, and earned several award nominations. In 1997 Rami's personal life also changed. His first child was born. He left the tour in mid July 1997 on parental leave. Chris Joyner filled in for Rami until he returned in September.

In 1998, the Wallflowers returned to the studio to record "Heroes" for the Godzilla Soundtrack, which earned them another Grammy nomination that year.

After the release of "Bringing Down the Horse," Rami continued his outside studio work, playing with Everclear, Grant Lee Buffalo, Richie Sambora, Macy Gray, Jeremy Toback, Joe Henry, Melissa Etheridge and Garth Brooks.

At the end of 1998, when the Wallflowers tour finally began to slow down, Rami expanded his musical talents and began producing for his friend and former labelmate, Phil Cody. His production credits include Andy If's album "Memories of Connecticut" and the band "the Color Green"'s 5 song EP. Rami formed a production team with fellow Wallflower Greg Richling.

In September 2000, the band set out on the road again in support of "Breach", released 10 October 2000. Highlights of the tour included opening acts like Minibar and John Doe as well as the honor of opening shows for veterans Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Who. The Breach tour ended on 09.22.01 in Noblesville, IN— finishing off a set of opening dates for John Mellencamp.

In November 2002, the Wallflowers released their fourth album "Red Letter Days". The band toured extensively in 2002/2003 with some appearances following in 2004, including a concert aboard the U.S.S. Stennis, an aircraft carrier out at sea.

With a new drummer, the band released "Rebel, Sweetheart", their fifth album, on 24 May 2005.

He led the house band on the Fran Drescher Talk Show and, as of 2010, co-owned a recording studio called Fonogenic Studios in the San Fernando Valley.[2]

In 2012 and 2013, Jaffee was a member of the Sound City Players, a supergroup formed by Dave Grohl that, in addition to appearing in Grohl's 2013 documentary, Sound City, played a limited number of tour dates in 2013. The Sound City Players consisted of a rotating number of artists including Grohl, Jaffee, Stevie Nicks, Alain Johannes, Paul McCartney, Rick Springfield, Josh Homme, Trent Reznor, Krist Novoselic, and more.

Discography (excerpt)[edit]

Year Group Title Label Instrument
1992 The Wallflowers The Wallflowers Virgin Piano, Hammond Organ
1993 Darlene & Co Absence of Uniformity Sovereign
1994 El Vez How Great Thou Art Sympathy for the Record Industry Hammond Organ
Fun in Español Sympathy for the Record Industry Hammond Organ
Victoria Williams Loose Atlantic Hammond Organ
1995 Edwin McCain Honor Among Thieves Lava/Atlantic Hammond Organ
1996 Tina & the B-Side Movement Salvation Sire/Elektra Piano, Hammond Organ, Farfisa
El Vez Never Been To Spain (Until Now) Munster Keyboards
Phil Cody The Sons of Intemperance Offering Interscope Piano, Accordion, Hammond Organ, Mellowtron
The Wallflowers Bringing Down the Horse Interscope Organ, Piano
Chalk FarM Notwithstanding Columbia Accordion
Leah Andreone Veiled RCA Organ
The Hookers Calico RCA Piano, Accordion, Hammond Organ
Rickie Lee Jones Party of Five Warner
1997 The Wallflowers KCRW Rare on Air, Vol. 3 Mammoth Piano
The Honeyrods The Honeyrods Capricorn Piano, Wurlitzer
Everclear So Much for the Afterglow Capitol Vox Organ
Uma Fare Well Refuge Piano, Hammond Organ, Vox Organ, Optigan
Soul Asylum I Know What You Did Last Summer Sony Columbia
Andy If Road Trip CU
1998 Richie Sambora Undiscovered Soul Mercury Accordion, Hammond Organ, Clapping, Optigan
Agents of Good Roots Only By One RCA Organ
Esthero Breath From Another Sony/Works Optigan
The Wallflowers Godzilla Epic/Sony
Scott Thomas Band California Elektra
Grant Lee Buffalo Jubilee Slash/Warner
1999 Chlorine Primer Timebomb/BMG Keyboards
Matt Brown Morning After Medicine Show EMI Uncle Green, released 2011 Keyboards
2000 The Wallflowers (Breach) Interscope Keyboards
2002 Red Letter Days Interscope Keyboards
2005 Foo Fighters In Your Honor RCA Records/Roswell Keyboards
The Wallflowers Rebel, Sweetheart Interscope Keyboards
2006 Willie Nile Streets of New York 00:02:59/Reincarnate Hammond Organ
Foo Fighters Skin and Bones RCA Records Piano, Organ, Accordion, Keyboard
Pete Yorn Westerns EP Red Ink / Columbia B-3 Organ, production
2007 Mike Brown & the Sneakies American Hotel Oasis Entertainment Hammond Organ, Keyboard
Coheed and Cambria Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow Columbia Records Synthesisers and Piano[3]
Foo Fighters Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace RCA Records Accordion, Keyboard
2008 The Fallen Stars Where the road bends Kiss My Squirrel Records Hammond Organ, Keyboard, Accordion
2011 Foo Fighters Wasting Light RCA Records Keyboards, Organ, Mellotron
2012 The Wallflowers Glad All Over Columbia/Interscope Keyboards
2013 Joseph Arthur The Ballad of Boogie Christ Lonely Astronaut Records Organ
Chuck Ragan Till Midnight Ten to Two Records Keyboard, glockenspiel, accordion
2014 Gunash Same Old Nightmare Go Down Records Hammond Organ
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways RCA Records Keyboards
2015 Foo Fighters Saint Cecilia (EP) RCA Records Keyboards
2016 Gunash SuperHeroes In Town (EP) Go Down Records Hammond Organ, Keyboards


  1. ^ "The Wallflowers Bios – Rami Jaffee". The Wallflowers. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  2. ^ "New Fran Drescher Talk Show". The Daily Truffle. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  3. ^ Mentioned in Album Booklet for Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow

External links[edit]