Continue to Create

Jeff Coffin

I’m a workaholic. I love making music and being on the road, teaching, writing books, composing, engineering, giving clinics, and running a record label. Yet, here we are, more than 10 months into a global pandemic with an essential shutdown of nearly all aspects of live music. How do we stay motivated with no real end in sight?

For me, these months have been an incredibly creative period because I have continued to create. The shutdown has made me question many things, but I have continued to create. I have been sad, angry, disappointed, and confused, but I have continued to create. I have also had moments of great joy, clarity, happiness, laughter, friendship, connection, and love, and I have continued to create.

I create because I choose to. I will find creative ways to be creative, and you should too!

In Solitude and Symbiosis

I have been self-publishing through Ingram Spark the last few years and published a book called “10 Improvisational Flute Etudes” in August 2020. I have since released versions for clarinet, alto saxophone, and tenor saxophone with trumpet and piano coming soon. See

I have recorded four full-length albums during the pandemic and released an EP called “Songs of Solitude” in April. For 2021, I have two duo projects, “Symbiosis” with saxophonist Derek Brown and “Let It Shine” with New Orleans cellist Helen Gillet. I have finished a children’s book, set for release in April, and have written three more. And I am working on nearly 40 more songs. I have continued to create.

Your Creative Self

Creativity can exist on a piece of paper. On a recording. In a line of poetry or prose. In a story or song that you share with everyone or no one. Creativity can exist in a photograph or an arrangement of flowers.

Do not lose your creative self during this time. Do not give up or give in. Do not go gently into that good night. Continue to create and let your creativity shine. We need you.

About author

Jeff Coffin

Jeff Coffin is a three-time Grammy Award winning saxophonist, composer, educator, and author. He has been a band member of Dave Matthews Band since 2008.  Jeff also teaches at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Jeff has published “The Saxophone Book,” co-wrote “The Articulate Jazz Musician” with Caleb Chapman, and released “The Road Book” in late 2019. Jeff is a Yamaha and D’Addario Performing Artist and Clinician.  Visit and for more information.

Tongue Levels

In the July/August 2010 issue, I touched on tongue levels briefly (“Tongue Talk”). This column will expand on the topic. From Halftime Magazine, a print ...