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Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet jazz up JU

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SaxManGrammy Award-winning musician Jeff Coffin performed with The Mu’tet at Terry Concert Hall on Feb. 26. Coffin has toured with many groups, such as Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and became a member of the Dave Matthews Band in 2009. Coffin has been recording and touring with The Mu’tet since the 1990s when he started the group.

The band The Mu’tet that accompanied Coffin was Chris Walters on piano, Bill “The Spaceman” Fanning playing the trumpet and space trumpet, Roy “Future Man” Wooten on drums and percussion and  Felix Pastorius, electric bass guitar.

All of the musicians were given their own solos and each one brought a loud response from the audience of students, faculty, staff and fans. The band played two sets with an intermission in between.

A special surprise for the audience was when the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Scott Watkins and the Director of Jazz, John Ricci from Jacksonville University both started to play sax with the band. They were also given solos where they showcased their individual talents. Coffin played three different kinds of saxophones during his two sets, alto, tenor and soprano.

“I have great respect for these guys as musicians and artists,” Watkins said.

Coffin’s musical influences are varied. Some he cite were New Orleans Second Line, African, Indian Ragas, Brazilian, folk songs, jazz, and funk.

“What I  really take away from listening and playing music is the spirit and breath of the music,” Coffins said. “This is how I  decide if I like the music or do not like the music.”

The idea of music for the spirit was evident not only in the sounds of the night, but in the sights as well. The musicians interacted with each other while performing, creating energy and chemistry.

“Being a person who was in band and loves music with a passion, I was excited to see the Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet, ” Joshua Akins, audience member, said.

The performance at Terry Concert Hall was not the only stop at Jacksonville University for Coffin. He was on campus for two days, Feb. 25 to Feb. 26. He set up workshops for student musicians from Jacksonville University. The students were not only able to play with Coffin but were also able to get expert advice and hear stories from a professional musician.

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Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet jazz up JU