Jeff has lived in Hanover, MD, since 1995. Born in Staten Island, NY, Jeff Lopez has been a Musician and Composer for most of his life. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. He studied bass with Jaco, Anthony Jackson, Cecil McBee, and John Patitucci. He studied composition with Kenny Werner, Dave Lalama and Rich Shemaria. Jeff has performed with Toots Thielmans, Kenny Werner as well as many other Jazz luminaries. Jeff has recorded with Geri Allen, Phil Woods to name a couple. Jeff Lopez' recording, the Sun and the Rain, featured Joel Frahm and Uri Caine. His compositions have been heard on numerous network and cable television shows. As a performer, Jeff has played Jazz festivals and Jazz venues in America and Europe. A performance highlight has been his two appearances in NYC playing at the legendary Carnegie Hall. Jeff is currently the bass player and a contributing composer with The Jazz Ambassadors.
My Philosophy- Composition and My Musical Soul.
I will try and explain why I am compelled to compose music. I compose because I must. It is part of my inner being. It is a calling for me as much as it is for any monk or priest who is called by a higher being to do his will. I do it regardless of financial compensation or rewards of fame and glory. It is who I am.
My back story is as such. I started composing when encouraged by musical colleagues during my early days as a musician. I was told, as a bass player, the part I play in music is the second most important part next to the melody. It was where Bach created excitement in his Inventions and where great composing is truly found. The great composers always had great bass lines and because of this reason and the fact that I am a bass player I should seriously try my hand at composing as well.
And so the journey began. I started with a simple melody and chords. From there, I began composing for two melodic instruments with accompaniment. followed by three melodic instruments and then four. This eventually led me to the Holy Grail of Jazz Composition. The ensemble format in which the great Jazz composers are measured... Big Band, Stage Band or The Jazz Orchestra. The instrumentation that the timeless masters show the world what Jazz composition is about, saxophones, trumpets, trombones and a rhythm section. This is the genre in which you'll find my most intriguing work. It is the area I study the most, perform the most and still in many ways, have the most to learn.
The common thread with all of my compositions has been to compose for a specific group or performing ensemble. This is what would be my most influential reason for writing music. The goal would always be to write something for a working group of musicians who would play the piece of music at a concert, club or performance venue of some type. The challenge being to have my voice as a composer come through the music that was being played by a a given set of musicians. Those individual musicians coming together to make great music which is ultimately and easily identified as The Music of Jeff Lopez.
My goal has been to find my voice as a Jazz composer in the big band idiom. My compositions are meant to be vehicles for improvisation as well as being compositional gems which employ traditional and modern composing devices that ground the pieces in the past and the present while at the same time keeping an exploring, navigating eye toward the future.
Thanks for listening to my music. In doing so, you had a chance to peer into my soul and experience the joy, sorrow, melancholy, angst, jubilation and excitement that is omnipresent in my music. Peace, Jeff