Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Meyer, Jeff (Jeffrey M.)

Meyer, Jeff (Jeffrey M.), composer, producer, drummer; b. New Orleans, LA, 30 September 1952.

Jeff was raised in America's birthplace of jazz and Mardi Gras, and devoted himself to drum studies, beginning in grade school. Later, in high school band at Holy Cross in Chalmette, under the direction of Frankie Mann, he met and studied with legendary drummer, Johnny Vidacovich.  As a teenager, he was playing gigs on Bourbon Street in high school until he enrolled in Loyola University's Music Department, in 1970.  There, he balanced his studies with Lee Beech, the classical percussionist with The New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony, and private studies with jazz great, James Black.  On weekends, as the house drummer for one of two bands at the Playboy Club in the French Ouarter, Jeff would play with such artists as Al Belleto, Bill Huntington, Angelle Trosclair or Harold Nicholas. He also performed with the symphony. It was during this time that he wrote his first composition, Squeezin', a trademark song adapted by Vidacovich. Transferring to Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass., in late 1972, to study with Joe Hunt, Dave Samuels, and Herb Pomeroy, Jeff joined Phil Wilson's "Dues Band", a big band lab with players Chip Jackson, John Scofield, Rob Mounsey, and Billy Drewes.  While at Berklee, he performed workshops with Pat Metheny and Jeff Berlin.  He graduated from Berklee in 1975, and after a year back in New Orleans, was encouraged to move to New York City by bassist, Berlin, and pianist, Cengiz Yaltakaya. Once in New York, he turned his attention primarily to composition.  Jeff's collaborations include compositions with pianist, Michael Pellera, guitarist Attila Zoller and Vidacovich.

Jeff continues to reside in New York City. His wife is Lora and his son is Gifford.

Recordings:
Best Of Friends (1994); OffBeat Festival (1996)

As sideperson/composer:
Red Rodney/Ira Sullivan: Live At The Village Vanguard, (1980); Barry Wallenstein: Taking Off (1981); Red Rodney/Ira Sullivan: Spirit Within (1982); Red Rodney: No Turn On Red (1986), Red Giant (1988); Denise Mangiardi: Fine Tuning (1995); Johnny Vidacovich: Mystery Street (1996), Banks Street (1996); Susanne Vogt: When I've Got The Moon (1998); Johnny Vidacovich: Vidacovich (2002); Susanne Vogt: Big Noise (2003)

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