Jef White - 50 something (can't remember) - silver hair - recorded his first album of original works when black vinyl was the cutting edge of technology.
He lives in a one room schoolhouse in the country - a hermit some say. It's true, his performances are few, his exposure minimal, and his ties to the present music industry all but non existent. (He calls it a 'natural aversion'.)
A poster for an El Mocombo gig once billed him an 'as unknown legend' -- so he's done okay for a recluse.
Sometimes......he slips out of his house and goes to town! A solo performance of original works at C'est What in downtown Toronto - a presentation of choral compositions at the Olympic Velodrome in Montreal - a forty-five minute nationally broadcasted interview/performance on CBC Radio - ballads and solo guitar on the waterfront in st. John's.
He's shown up on stage over the years from Vancouver to Newfoundland sharing the bill with various acts from Seals and Crofts (Sherbrooke, Quebec) to Lighthouse (St. John's, Newfoundland) to James Keelaghan (Port Dover, Ontario). People raise their eyebrows - scratch their heads - "Where the f--- did he come from??"
He wasn't always so 'private'.
Before moving to Toronto in the mid seventies this Corner Brook, Newfoundland native drew much recognition and praise as a songwriter / guitarist.
He performed his works at Arts & Culture centers and coffee houses – also opening for internationally known groups at Memorial University in St. John’s.
Performances on CBC with his group Three In The Morning, and also as an accompanist for other artists, increased his notoriety.
Media articles of the time responded to his performances – “Jef is to be thought of in the same light as people like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn…”
“After silence that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music. Listen to the music of Jef White.” (Lloyd Barrlett – The Humber Log)
Within two years of his move to Toronto he released an album of original works entitled Grey Lord, produced by Juno award winner Eugene Martynec. This led to various performances and interviews and eventually to a follow up recording for CBC Toronto featuring three jazz / rock tunes from Jef. These albums boast performances by a host of nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians. (see bios)
Following a recording with Producer Jack Lenz in 1983, Jef moved from the Toronto area to take up residence in the small south-western Ontario town of Goderich on Lake Huron.
As a painter and decorator his time in Goderich was devoted to taking care of his family – and writing music. His repertoire now exceeds 150 finished, original songs and he has just developed his fourth musical.
Just before the turn of the millennium, his children having grown and his marriage of twenty years at an end, Jef returned to a more active pursuit of his music career with the release of two CD’s entitled While Dylan Grew Whiskers and The Red Arrow. Both of these CD’s have received national and regional airplay.
In the late winter of 2005, Jef teamed up with Huron County vocalist / actress Kati Durst to form the musical duo Young & Foolish. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Kati became a top ten finalist on the Canadian Idol Television phenomena the following year. They have recorded some of Jef’s original material together and will continue to perform occasional concerts as a duo.
Lately, Jef has been working to finish a new CD (Ol’ Crazy Half Moon Wheel) complete with videos, due for release early next year.
This man is a guitarist / singer / songwriter who over the years has gone down the roads less traveled.
But damn it --- he’s returned with some wonderful treasures.