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Jeffrey Chen

Jeffrey Chen with his cello

That School of Rock joke where you say cello like you’re saying hello…yeah, Jeff’s heard that one before.

Jeffrey Chen, is a University of Connecticut graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music as well as a Master of Business Administration. Mr. Chen studied cello with Professor Mary Lou Rylands, and was a member of the Collegium Musicum, studying viola da gamba under the direction of Professor Bruce Bellingham. During his time at UConn, he also studied non-traditional and improvisational cello techniques with Eugene Friesen, and participated in the New Directions Cello Festival.

Mr. Chen was a founding member of the Renaissance performance group, The Jovial Beggars, has been commissioned to compose and record soundtracks for several dramatic productions, including works by the University of Connecticut Puppetry Department, recently recorded three albums and performed with the progressive rock band The Cargo Cult Revival as lead electric cello, performed with alternative bluegrass band Ernest Hem’n’haw and the Shotgun Republic, is a founding member of a dark Americana performing ensemble Them Damn Hamiltons, and currently works as a studio musician, as well as continuing to perform and collaborate with many local musicians and ensembles.

Mr. Chen currently lives in Manchester, Connecticut with his wife, daughter, and two cats.

Jeffrey Chen playing cello on “Oceans of Blood”

After the session, Jeff confided that he had drawn his inspiration for the interplay of pizzicato and legato lines from the room’s wallpaper. Unfortunately, Autumn has since redecorated the room.

Autumn Ashley, a friend I play music with occasionally, introduced me Jeff. I was visiting Autumn and her husband in Connecticut while on tour. She asked how my All Is Sideways record was coming along. I told her that I needed a cellist to round out the orchestra on my song “Oceans of Blood.” She insisted that I should meet Jeff and immediately arranged to have him come by the house to record.

When Jeff got there, we locked ourselves in an unfinished room upstairs and recorded the cello parts I had arranged for the orchestral sections of “Oceans of Blood.” Jeff tore through the parts quickly and asked if I had anything else that needed cello, so I fed him “O Sweet Grace” and he improvised the gorgeous cellos you hear on that track.

Jeff says:

Scott Troyer… That guy is OK, I guess. He’s cool. Oh, and I suppose he might be one of the most talented and creative musical individuals that I’ve had the good fortune of working with lately. I look forward to collaborating more with him. And he has a sexy, sexy beard.