Grammy award winning percussionist and producer, Jeff Haynes has toured with everyone from the Pat Metheny Group, Al Jarreau and Lizz Wright to Harry Belafonte and Peabo Bryson and his chops can be heard on nearly 200 CDs.
His creative direction as a producer on his recent release of PETE SEEGER THE STORM KING Vol 1 & 2, Pete Seeger spoken word set to multi-genre music from over 50 musicians, has been recognized with acclaim from Publishers Weekly, Amazon, AudioFile Magazine and Library Journal. Also with the highest honor of being nominated for a GRAMMY® Award and won the 2014 Audiobook Publishers Association's Audie Award for Distinguished Achievement in Production.
As Jeff continues to evolve, it is clearly Jeff’s seasoned track record as a touring and recording percussionist that has set the stage for the career that he is carving out as a producer and teacher. Jeff toured and recorded with Blue Note recording artist Cassandra Wilson for nearly 20 years. One need only Google Jeff’s name to pull up videos of Jeff performing with Cassandra to see why she says, "he brings fire and heart to my music.”
The Los Angeles Times raves about his "nonpareil solo and ensemble work.” Haynes brings a sound to today’s music scene that takes percussion beyond “technique” and “tradition”.
In recorded and stage performances, he moves effortlessly from varied and subtle textures... to grooving in the pocket... to anchoring the rhythm section. This is what made Jeff the clear choice for concert producer Danny Kapilian and music director Brian Blade’s all-star band for two tributes for the legendary Joni Mitchell, in 2011 and 2013, performing with Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lizz Wright, Esperanza Spalding, Cassandra Wilson, Chaka Khan, Aimee Mann and Glen Hansard.
Jeff has recorded, engineered and composed a song for Pete Seeger’s 2010 Grammy award winning CD, Tomorrow’s Children. This success lead to Jeff and David Bernz production collaboration on the Pete Seeger and Lorre Wyatt’s, A More Perfect Union. Jeff’s creative input and engineering shaped the CD which features Emmylou Harris, Dar Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello and Steve Earle.
When Jeff is not on the road or in the recording studio, he doesn’t keep his talent and experience bottled up. He has developed a number of drum and spoken word workshops/residencies that he facilitates in schools, cultural institutions and in the community throughout New York State.
He even partners with cultural organizations on RFPs for grants, to fund his concert series and classes. One of the most successful partnerships was with Mount Saint Mary College and the New York Music Fund for a $50,000 grant, to present Jeff’s 7 month series of multi-genre concerts and drum classes. His program, D.R.U.M. (Discipline, Respect, Unity and Music) has been used successfully to support team building and children at risk. He also integrates poetry and drumming into the ELA social studies curriculum for the Underground Railroad.
Quotes From Jeff Haynes:
"I play with passion because I know that music touches people's lives."
"I play from my heart and soul," he says. "I want to do whatever is necessary for the music. It’s really a passionate feeling when you get to a level of playing by not playing so much. Sometimes that’s more difficult than playing a lot of notes. Don’t think of yourself, become one with the music, and you’ll have more to contribute. Think of dynamics..."
“I was watching Ed Sullivan with my parents when the Beatles came on. I was so taken by the band and the audience screaming that I just kept creeping closer and closer to the set and getting more and more charged until I pulled the TV down on myself — my father had a fit! I guess you could say it was my first attempt to literally get inside the music.”