Jef Kearns has had a piece of metal in his hand, and his purpose in his mind for over two thirds of his life. The metal: his flute, an instrument he seemingly picked out of thin air when his parents asked him to choose an instrument to study. His purpose: to show the world its place as a featured instrument in urban music. A goal he first realized when looking at a Lionel Richie album he bought, and telling himself, “This guy is going to feature me.”
Jef Kearns grew up listening to the urban music radio stations broadcast out of Detroit. Even as a child, 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.”
Jef is currently making big sound waves in the world. Tom Coyne (mastering engineer for Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo, Sade, Beyoncé, 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.”
Smooth Jazz Therapy, a go-to site for smooth jazz reviews said Jef Kearns “is dispelling the myth that flute players can’t do urban jazz.”
Top rated soul music site Soul Tracks, said “When I hear the flute, I think of meadows, flowers, ponds and trees … That perhaps explains why I still find the use of the flute in R&B and jazz to be so shocking. However, as Jef Kearns shows … this juxtaposition can be shockingly effective.”
Of his music, Jef says, “It is my mission to show people that flute that can be just as soulful and down-and-dirty as sax.
My music sheds 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.”