Philadelphia United States
Producer, turntablist, cultural icon - Jazzy Jeff revisits more than two decades of hip hop in Philly and beyond.
Jeff Townes aka _(artist-name)DJ Jazzy Jeff_, was born in West Philadelphia to a very musical household. He was just 10 years old when he started spinning records, using his family’s basement as a testing ground for his mixing techniques. After cutting his teeth around Philly’s block parties where the competition was ruthless, he quickly made a name for himself with his natural flair for cutting and scratching. But it wasn’t until he spun at a party on Will Smith’s mum’s block that Jeff met his comrade in arms and long-standing musical partner. Their debut LP _(album-title)Rock The House_ was mostly made in Jeff’s basement, but that still didn’t stop their blend of party jams, goofy humour, and adolescent narratives from striking a chord from Philly to Jersey to DC and New York. It didn’t prepare the duo for what was to follow however, as their second LP _(album-title)He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper_ scooped them a Grammy Award, before nationwide fame arrived with their TV comedy show 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air'. Displaying the kind of community vision that has since defined Jeff as a true cultural icon, he created the production company A Touch Of Jazz, and helped a raft of Philly musicians achieve critical and commercial acclaim, among them James Poyser, Musiq Soulchild, _(artist-name)Vikter Duplaix_, and _(artist-name)Jill Scott_. Jeff is one of those pioneers that appreciate the lineage of great DJs, from Grand Wizard Theodore to _(artist-name)Q-Bert_, acknowledging his position with humility, passion and respect for the art form and culture. From working with greats like _(artist-name)Roy Ayers_ and _(artist-name)Questlove_, to newcomers like _(artist-name)Ayah_ and _(artist-name)Mac Miller_, Jeff’s creative energy and boundless enthusiasm is infectious.