ABOUT JACK GAFFNEY
Having worked closely with Jack Gaffney for almost 13 years I've come to understand the breadth of his talent and creativity, and the magnitude of his intuition as a musician. In the two decades of my teaching career I cannot recall another young artist who has made as distinct and true an impression on me. -Carter Pann, University of Colorado Professor and Grammy-nominated composer.
I am a composer, producer, pianist, singer-songwriter, teacher and music theorist. I could never pick a single genre of music—in the last twenty years I’ve studied classical, rock, pop, jazz and electronic music. I’ve even studied Balinese gamelan. My musical curiosity is unquenchable. I graduated from CU Boulder in 2020 with a Bachelor of Music, Composition, with High Honors. I now teach, study, collaborate and write in a plethora of genres at my music studio in Nederland, CO.
To learn more about me as a teacher, please click on the ‘lessons’ tab.
My mentors include American composers Carter Pann and Daniel Kellogg, elite jazz keyboardists Erik Deutsch and Erwin Helfer, classical pianists Jennifer Hayghe and Peter Friesen, master vocal coaches Scott Martin and Cody Qualls and renowned bluesmen Otis Taylor and Bob Margolin.
I began playing piano when I was four and singing/songwriting when I was eight. Back then I just wanted to be like Bono from U2. Writing little songs about crushes with extended piano intros. In the following years, as my family went through some hardships, I learned how to express my feelings through music: harnessing emotion and turning it into art.
In middle school I released two singer-songwriter EPs, “Nothing to Be Afraid Of” and “Mask”, both of which you can hear in the ‘music’ tab of this website.
In addition to continuing my classical studies, in high school I attended blues workshops in Clarksdale, Mississippi, performed multiple times at Otis Taylor’s Trance Blues Festival and was selected by the Colorado Blues Society to be the sole youth representative at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
Photo by Scott Rowland
Photo by Scott Rowland
Leading up to college I began painting pianos with abstract art, three of which I donated to charities that support youth through music. From 2013-2019, I busked on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO hundreds of times—perfecting my craft as an entertainer.
At CU Boulder I studied classical composition, theory, piano and choir on a merit-based full-tuition scholarship. I had eight compositions premiered at the Pendulum New Music concert series, was commissioned to write an original composition, FLUX, for the Boulder Altitude Directive in 2018 and received the Undergraduate Composition Award in 2019 for my first string quartet, Heart Shadows.
I spent my second-to-last semester abroad at the University of Sydney, Australia, where I studied composition and advanced theory courses, premiered original music, performed in choral and gamelan ensembles and fell in love with travel.
Since graduating from CU, I have been laser-focused on jazz piano and music production—further expanding my skillset as I create music that sits somewhere between indie rock, dubstep and symphonic genres. I’m always working on new music and have many releases on the horizon. I’ll collaborate in any genre. Reach out to me!
Other things I love: mindfulness, astronomy and skiing.