Hear the name DJ Jazzy Jeff and you’ll probably always think of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or crossover hits like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime.” But those thoughts only capture the early career of Jeffrey Allen Townes, now a 52-year-old Philadelphia producer and turntablist who travels the world and chronicles his musical adventures through the web series Vinyl Destination.
Chasing Goosebumps is a recent example of what Jazz is all about today; he invited some of his favorite musicians into the studio—James Poyser, Stro Elliot, Rich Medina, Aaron Camper, Teeko, Glenn Lewis and many others—and challenged them to help him make an album in just seven days. “That hands down was the most satisfying project I’ve ever been a part of, because we controlled it from A to Z,” he says. “It was amazing to have so many talented people together for one cause. The goal was to take the barriers out of the way that slow down the creative process and make it just about making great music.”
This weekend, Jeff returns to Las Vegas, a DJ destination with which he’s very familiar, to take control at Rehab’s party. “I played Vegas a few times last year, but I had a residency there for about 10 years at the Palms and Hakkasan,” he says. “I love the energy Vegas has, and I expect it to be the same [at Rehab].”
DJ Jazzy Jeff at Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel, March 26.