Jeff Fennell moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2008 to attend UMass Amherst, where he received a BA in Jazz Performance and a BA in Psychology. While there he studied the jazz and classical tradition, performing at such prestigious festivals as the World Saxophone Congress. He became part of touring bands, some in the big band tradition and others in the modern folk and jam band styles that provided many years of touring, playing large music festivals, concert halls, and intriguing clubs.
In 2015 Jeff began working at CMSS with Sonido Musica, an El Sistema-inspired community partnership program that helps provide music education to public schools in Springfield and Holyoke, MA. The program has grown from it’s beginnings in three middle schools to now helping serve in over 20+ elementary, middle, and high schools providing music education for over 1,000 students. In 2018 Jeff was accepted into the META fellowship, which was founded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a community platform for teaching artists throughout the state to meet and discuss the needs of the communities in which the teachers serve. He along with other fellows created Mindful Music Matters, a resource website and community geared toward integrating the practice of embodied mindful awareness into the creative arts. In 2019-20 he completed his requirements for 300-hr Mindfulness Teacher Training through the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, along with becoming certified to teach the Mindful Schools curriculum.
Jeff continues to call the Pioneer Valley home and has a deep love and connection to the rich, historic yet ever changing music scene in the area. While not traveling he can be spotted playing in jam sessions and horn sections along with his three main projects, soul syndicate The Mary Jane Jones, Boston based R&B show band Miss Fairchild, and dub reggae group SoulTree.
He currently lives in Easthampton, MA where he can be heard practicing way too late at night.Explore all faculty and instruments