Picture Jeff began to play drums in the sixth grade. Then In 1975, Jeff’s first stepping stone was attending the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. — One of Jeff’s dreams finally came true when he was accepted to Berklee in 1977. While at Berklee, Jeff studied under Bob Kaufman and Bill Norine, he attended clinics given by Alan Dawson and was taken under by his mentor Lee Venters. Jeff was lucky enough to attend Berklee with an impressive cast of musicians like Branford Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern and Jeff Watts, Kevin Eubanks, Dean Parks, Steve Vai, just to name a few.
While studying at Berklee, Jeff met and played in a band with Steve Vai and Baron Brown called “Winter”. This experience turned Jeff on to a wide world of music and rhythm which gave him valuable tools that he still carries with him today.
After his stay in Boston, Jeff moved to Atlanta in 1983. There he began gigging and teaching at the Atlanta Institute for Music and at a popular hang out for Atlanta drummers, Atlanta Drums and Percussion. Jeff spent time sitting in with local musicians and was introduced to Bruce Hampton through Dan Wall, a keyboardist that he had been playing with…..and that’s the rest of the story. It seemed too fitting that their first meeting took place at a wedding because not only was there a marriage there was a wedding of vast musical intention. Jeff then asked Oteil Burbridge and Jimmy Herring to sit in on this free willed musical band wagon and the Aquarium Rescue Unit was born.