J S Kingfisher
J S Kingfisher – Jeff – is a composer/lyricist, arranger/producer, vocalist, instrumentalist, and recording artist. His most recent project is From the Moon to the Earth, a 21-piece song cycle released one single at a time over 21 Full Moons, from February 2014 to September 2015. From the Moon to the Earth features 28 musicians and singers, including Maiya Sykes, Jacob Collier, Jeffery Smith, LaVance Colley, and a host of top LA session musicians. On the Full Moon of October 27, 2015, the entire project was released as a two-disc set.
Jeff's previous releases include 1998's Vesica Piscis and Floating Upstream, a collection of his early works. He has produced three albums for pianist John Steiner, and is the creator of Muzoracle, the Tarot of Music; The Musician's Dice; and Muzundrum, the Game of Musicians. In 2002 he founded Philomuse, a record label, production company, and the manufacturer of his innovations.
Jeff is currently composing and producing an album for Serbian singer and lyricist Dalibor Banović, as well as being in production on his next solo venture. He also owns and operates Philomusica, a gallery of exotic instruments, music-related fine art and books, audio boxed sets and rarities, and his inventions in downtown Palm Springs. He casts and teaches the Muzoracle there as well, and does much of his recording in the studio at the rear.
Jeff was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Musically, he was influenced early on by the big band and country swing records of his parents, and by the records passed on to him by his older cousins: Meet the Beatles and Rubber Soul, the Stones' Aftermath, Cream's Disraeli Gears, lots of Janis and Motown, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. His high school years found him heavy into Bowie and glam with the shoes to prove it; in the meantime he discovered fusion, Joni, and THC. Jeff started playing piano and writing songs himself at age 12, and studied organ and classical theory throughout his teens.
Jeff's first professional gig was as a pianist for the notorious Lee Garland Show, a raucous and bawdy review featuring Garland's female impersonations, comedy, and dancers. Throughout his early twenties he played in numerous rock bands, and in the early eighties moved to LA. There he attended the Dick Grove School of Music for two years, studying piano, composition, and arranging; it was there he began to seriously sink his teeth into jazz and develop his compositional style of writing and playing. Jeff's next half-dozen years were spent arranging, producing, and playing sessions of all sorts, mostly from his Hollywood studio, Electric Cat. Meanwhile he continued working on his own stuff, and in the early nineties moved up to Northern Cal and began writing the material that would later become Floating Upstream.
Jeff worked throughout the nineties on several multimedia projects, composing for the theatrical productions Both Hands, Kelly's Dream in the Rain, and finally Unity Gain, a Bay Area production based on Floating Upstream that included several musicians and movement artists floating behind a sixty-foot wide projection surface. The new millienium found him back in Los Angeles, where as of this writing he remains.
Jeff's music, writing, and art is influenced and inspired by an ongoing passion for the "big questions": he is an intrepid explorer of esoteric music theory, myth and meaning, the mystic approach, and the work of G.I. Gurdjieff. He is a voracious reader of both fiction and non, a film buff, a San Francisco Giants fan, and a coffee snob; in the middle of all that he tries to get outdoors as much as possible. He lives in Palm Springs with his husband.