Jeff has been playing the guitar since the age of seven. He grew up alongside the influence of a musically inclined family, particularly his grandfather Alonzo "Buddy" Howard, who sang and played guitar in his own Texas country music band, "Buddy and the Travelers." As a boy, he received several years of classical music instruction on the piano; however, his guitar skills were from the very beginning self-taught.

photo by Tyler Butrill 2004

  Jeff was introduced to traditional Irish music in 1995, when he met Texas Irish flute player Larry Rone. From that point on he began to make a study of traditional Irish music generally and more specifically he focused on what the great guitarists like Arty McGlynn, Michael O'Dohmnaill, Daithi Sproule and Paul Brady were doing to back the music using alternate tunings like DADGAD. Encouraged to pursue an instrumental involvement with the music, Jeff began to collaborate with Irish fiddler and friend Michael McCullough and also became a regular at Austin tune sessions, during which time he developed his own unique style of accompaniment.

Over the years Jeff has had the opportunity to perform with some of the Southwest region's top players. A founding member of the high energy Texas Irish band Cluan, Jeff has also performed with regional bands such as Carey Street, The Sarah Dinan Band, Poor Man's Fortune , Gilmer & Moore and continues to perform in a duet with Cluan fiddler Chris Buckley. Jeff has also had the great pleasure of accompanying international artists such as Joe Burke, Johnny B. Connolly, Jerry Holland, James Keane, James Kelly, Brian McNeill, Ed Miller, Mick Moloney, Mark Stone, John Taylor and John Williams

In addition to being a singer, accompanist, bodhran player, composer, arranger and producer, Jeff is also becoming known as an accomplished instructor, teaching workshops and demonstrations at festivals and music camps as well as providing private instruction to students in the Austin TX area.

Jeff plays guitars by C.F. Martin tuned to DADGAD and bodhrans by Metloef Irish Drums, Rob Forkner.

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