Jeff Kaye was born in the Bronx in 1951. At a young age, his family moved to the Washington DC area, shuffling back and forth between DC and the Bronx for thirteen years and finally settling in DC, which today is still Kaye’s hometown.
Kaye started playing piano at the age of 10. While in high school he played in a local rock and roll band, “The Immortals.” The band got a chance to perform at the Steel Pier where Kaye was able to see Gene Krupa play live in a venue adjacent to their performing area. This was his first exposure to jazz. When he expressed an interest in jazz, his father took him to a local jazz venue in DC, “The Villa Rosa” to see Jimmy Smith. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and seeing” says Jeff, “Jimmy Smith’s playing was so smooth, yet so intense!” The next concert his father took him to was at “Constitution Hall” to see Cannonball Adderley and Wes Montgomery. After hearing both those giants (and Joe Zawinul), jazz was permanently in his blood.
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