Sitting at the forefront of Austin’s diverse and thriving music scene is Jeff Lofton — father, jazz trumpeter and a true live entertainment icon. During our time in Texas, we took a second to catch up with the performer to get his thoughts on the city, chat about what it’s like to have a day named in his honor and, of course, hear those sweet sounds of his.
JL: For me, it’s being able to be at home more than on the road to raise my daughter. As a musician, Austin is a place where you can make a living doing what you love.
JL: Austin has a wide diversity of musical genres, but what I find most impressive is the skill level of the musicians throughout. One night, you may see a player with a country band and that same cat is playing jazz with me the next night.
JL: A duet with composer and pianist Graham Reynolds for TEDxAustin at the Austin Music Hall based on one of my favorite songs that I wrote called “Rose.” Having a live audience of that size during a completely spontaneous improvisation with a master of the piano like Graham made the performance forever memorable.
JL: It’s humbling and rewarding to get jazz to the people and see them connect to the music.
JL: Even though I never met him, Miles Davis’ influence is in so much of what I do. His ability to create standards in his own style and form and his constant re-creation of the music makes him a true American icon.
To catch up on our exciting cross-country journey and get to know other American icons like Jeff Lofton, visit macys.com/americanicons