Born: August 1, 1979 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Jeff Hedberg is a 25-year-old jazz singer, flugelhorn and trumpet player.
His musical training includes a Master of Music in Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Elmhurst College. During his time at both institutions Jeff had the opportunity to perform with both the EC Jazz Band and the NU Jazz Ensemble, both well-known big bands. During which he played both lead trumpet and jazz chair. Through his schooling, as well as his own pursuits, Jeff has studied with Doug Beach, Mark Colby, Jackie Allen, Brenda Lualdi, Bob Rummage, Mark Streder, Libby York, Jeff Deustch, Phoebe Fuller, Rob Parton, Don Owens, Joel Spencer, Mike Kocour and Judy Roberts.
Jeff's playing and singing styles are most notably rooted in the styles of Chet Baker and Mel Torme. As Scott Gotschall, of jazzwriter.com, writes in the liner notes of Jeff's debut recording, Certainly one can hear Mel Torme, Ella, and of course Chet Baker in his performance. But to only describe this artist as an 'updated' or 'modern' version of someone else would be to deprive him of the identity that comes from blending various styles into one cohesive voice.
The aforementioned CD, The Summer Knows, released by BluJazz, is a collection of works that Jeff has encountered through his studies and pursuits. It includes distinctive stylings of songs such as Comes Love, Nica's Dream, and Cry Me a River. All of which stem from his admiration of performers that include Julie London, Carmen McRae, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chet Baker, and Judy Roberts. Roberts, a veteran Chicago pianist/vocalist joins Jeff for the only duet on the CD with a expressive rendition of Monk's 'Round Midnight. Though his influences are many, Jeff's high regard for Chet Baker is obvious in his performance of Let's Get Lost and Funny Valentine.
While listening to The Summer Knows, one will notice the substantial absence of drums, with the exception of superb conga playing by Matt Baumann on tracks 7 & 10. Jeff favors the intimacy this setting allows. The solid accompaniment exhibited by Ken Spurr, Nick Tountas, Dan Effland and Josh Shapiro, enables him to create such an atmosphere.