In 1985, Jeffrey Allen Townes exploded onto the music scene as half of the superstar duo known as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (longtime partner/artist/actor, Will Smith).The precocious duo went on to sell over fifteen million records worldwide, win three Grammy Awards (including first ever awarded for Rap), three American Music Awards, two NAACP Awards, two Soul Train Music Awards, and an MTV Music Award.
In 1990, Jeff fulfilled a longtime dream and started A Touch of Jazz, Inc. (ATOJ), a full-scale musical production facility, in his hometown of Philadelphia.Housing four complete digital and analog rooms, ATOJ also has a variety of vintage microphones, keyboards, state-of-the-art equipment and a “live” room.Pre-production, recording, and mixing are performed magically and almost effortlessly by Jeff’s constantly replenished team of talented young producers.Jeff prides himself on having created a laid-back atmosphere that allows all those who enter to feel unity, inspiration, and deliver their most personal and innovative creative work possible.The relaxed environment and the tremendous amount of great music it yielded helped solidify ATOJ’s reputation for being THE place to create original music.
Thanks to Jeff’s vision and talent, ATOJ has developed a prolific catalog of musical credits, including the theme to “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” television show, a song on “The Simpsons” compilation album, and the theme to the UPN Network’s “Between Brothers.”ATOJ has also produced songs on the “Wild Wild West,” “Love Jones,” “The Wood,” and “In Too Deep” movie soundtracks.ATOJ has also worked with renowned artists such as Will Smith, Eminem, Michael Jackson, Jewel, Mos Def, Musiq, Kenny Lattimore, Tatyana Ali, MC Lyte, Darius Rucker (lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish).
In addition to creating material for outside artists, ATOJ has also developed an incredible reputation for identifying and developing its own roster of talent.In summer 2000, ATOJ introduced an unknown Jill Scott to the world.Ms. Scott’s debut album “Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sound Vol. 1,” which went on to sell over two million records worldwide and earn three Grammy nominations.British duo sensation, Floetry, was another unknown group who benefited from Jeff’s and ATOJ’s magic touch, earning gold status for their debut album and rave reviews.Musiq Soulchild’s debut album, “Aijuswanaseing,” also produced by ATOJ, rounds out a stable of performers who helped to carve out the “neo-soul” sound – a movement that took the world by storm.
Ultimately Jeff Townes is a renaissance man.He’s one of the world’s foremost DJ’s, an artist who has sold millions of records, a successful TV actor, a prolific writer and producer, and the leader of an internationally renowned music production company. DJ Jazzy Jeff has spun enough records to keep the earth on its axis – not to mention dance floors spinning; wrote and recorded enough great hits as an artist to help launch entirely new art form and genre called hip hop; and produced enough acts and new music to keep the world the singing well into next generations.And he’s not even close to done. Jeff continues to build upon Philly’s longstanding reputation for developing new sounds and translating that into great music. His final legacy, however, will lie in his ability to hear, create, and deliver – in so many different ways - music that moves the world.