From Sundance to SXSW, local singer/songwriter Jacob Jeffries and his band may be big time now, but they still show Miami love.
By Vanessa Garcia
At nineteen, Jacob Groten is a vegetarian, has broken fourteen bones and, most importantly, has managed to cull a musical range that walks the line from John Lennon to Freddy Mercury, with inflections of Jeff Buckley vocal perfection, Tom Petty jive and the mere joy of the rock n' roll musical.
Though Groten had played on albums for Latin Grammy award winner (and six-time Grammy nominee) Obie Bermudez, his biggest break came in 2006, when the young musician signed on with Warner Chappell publishing. His band, the Jacob Jeffries Band, started making waves in South Florida but has recently rolled its rhythm over state lines. This past January, the band played the Sundance Film Festival and NAMM. They also just recently played SXSW in Austin, Texas, and has received the endorsement of Baldwin Pianos.
Raised on the idea that the Beatles were the most important contribution to music history, Groten hones in on one of the Fab Four's most honorable qualities: connecting with the audience. "The marriage of the listener and the composition is so important," says Groten. The Jacob Jeffries Band makes smart songs, but they also make songs that let you in, always inviting though sometimes somber.
With Groten on keyboard and lead vocals; Brian Lang on bass (he just bought a '68 P-Bass that Groten says: "sounds like a fat bumble bee"); Jimmy Powers on guitar; and Josh "Papa Bear" Connolly holding the time on his Sonor drum kit (a "big man with a big heart," adds Groten), the group is a Fab Four all their own.For more info on the band and its upcoming gigs, go to myspace.com/jacobjeffriesband or jacobjeffriesband.com
Jacob Jeffries of the Jacob Jeffries Band. Photo: Joseph Baum.