Tom Coyne (mastering engineer for Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo, Sade, Beyonce, and countless others) says, “His compositions and beats are both really strong. Beautiful flute performance on really good quality pop music. Not only the smooth Jazz listeners, but also R&B music fans would enjoy his songs.”
Carl Allen says, “Jef, you have taken flute to a whole new level. You have made me a fan (of the flute), and that’s not easy do. In my 35 years in the biz I have heard a lot of players. You are the best, my friend. As owner of several venues and the executive producer/programmer at CKLN (radio), I thank you.”
Jef Kearns grew up listening to the urban music radio stations broadcast out of Detroit and credits his selected career path to them. Even at the age of 10, Jef would learn R&B melodies and transpose hip hop lines and verse into the rhythms of his flute. “I’d spend hours in my room playing along with hip hop station 96.3FM,” Jef reveals, “and when I wasn’t playing I was listening intensely to what exactly was happening, musically.”
The Jef Kearns fan base is as diverse as the emotion attached to his every note. Fans range from a teenage online listener who described his flute playing as “da bomb” to a veteran boxer who, after seeing Jef perform, stated he was inspired to play the flute himself. Music producer Damon De Szegheo recounts hearing a group of Swedish death-metal rockers, say of Jef, “This guy shreds better on flute than I can on guitar” while listening to the flautist record.
Jef Kearns’ crossover appeal has been proven in the media as well. He is the only instrumentalist listed on Honeysoul.com (a site ranked #20 out of 198 million “soul” searches on Google), alongside recognized and award-winning vocalists and musicians, including Jill Scott, Joe, Common, and Mint Condition. He has also made numerous appearances on the Jazz Review and The Live Music Report Web sites.
Consisting of all original tracks, Jef’s debut album On the Level unleashes a quiet storm of flute-focused R’n’B grooves that cross genres from modern soul to hip-hop to classic Motown. Of the album Jef says, “It is my mission to show people that flute that can be just as soulful and down-and-dirty as sax. These songs shed a whole new light on urban music and the flute’s place in it. It’s the flute album for people who think they don’t like flute. You’ve never heard it like this before.”