Colorado Springs Conservatory
SPOTLIGHT SERIES · August 2021
Jeff Grady | Colorado Springs Conservatory Lead Mentor – Recording Arts | Producer at Film Score Fest | US Telemark Ski Team Competitive Racer
Championed by Oberlin Conservatory and Juilliard School-educated Founder Linda Weise, the Colorado Springs Conservatory attracts and retains the nation’s finest arts educators. We have a deep and abiding respect for our faculty mentors and guest artists/lecturers who share with our students a gift for teaching and a deep passion for the arts. Our teaching method is student-centric, offering a balance of peer-coaching, teacher mentoring, and performance.
This month, we’d like to shine our spotlight on Jeff Grady – Lead Mentor in Recording Arts!
Jeff, thank you for sharing some of your experience and journey as a mentor at Colorado Springs Conservatory and beyond!
At what age did you become interested in music and/or recording arts? Did you personally attend a Conservatory or music lessons as a child/teen? If so, when/where?
I wish I could have attended the Conservatory! I grew up in a musical house and was building my first Recording Studio at age 14.
Which instruments do you play? And which is/are you favorite(s)?
I play piano, guitar, drums, bass, and I sing. The piano is the ultimate instrument … everything is there in black and white!
When did you study Vocal Jazz at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver? What are some of your best memories of your time there?
I studied Vocal Jazz and Commercial Music at University of Denver from 2011-2012. I enjoyed being challenged and growing as an individual.
After you graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition in 2015, what did you do next?
I moved to Colorado working as a ski instructor at Loveland for two years! I tore my ACL and I took it as a sign to get my music career going!
Do you continue to compose?
Yes I compose, write and record every day in the studio!
How did you get into recording arts? What are some of the highlights of your career working in recording studios around the country?
I’ve always been producing, performing with and recording local musicians. I worked with indie bands and voice actors in Chicago after college, then set up my own studio in Minneapolis.
When did you join the team at Colorado Springs Conservatory? What are some of your favorite aspects of mentoring at CSC? Favorite memories?
I joined the Conservatory team in spring of 2019. My favorite part of being a mentor is seeing students succeed! We have so many talented students, it is a blessing to be able to be a part of taking their artistry to the next level. My favorite thing to hear is “Mr. Jeff! Want to hear a new song I wrote?” Our recording studio is an incredibly creative, inspiring place that I have so much joy getting to manage.
Why do you believe music/arts education is important?
I believe music and arts education is more important than ever. Arts education allows students to learn about themselves, their feelings and the world around them. Our recording studio has always been an environment that says “Yes!” and “What if?” rather than “No.”
Tell us a little about Film Score Fest and your role as a producer.
Film Score Fest combines filmmakers, composers and a live orchestra in a one-night film festival! I was responsible for recording the orchestra while cueing, mixing and syncing the films, soundtracks and orchestra simultaneously in real-time.
How long have you been a telemark skier? When did you join the US Telemark Ski Team? Favorite parts of racing? Any lessons from competitive racing influence your CSC mentoring style (or vice versa?)
I have been Telemark Skiing for about five years. I’ve been a member of the US Telemark Ski Team for three seasons. I’ve enjoyed traveling the country to race in a number of different events. I am definitely not the best racer out there, but like music, there is always so much more to learn and improve on. Like music, the only way to improve is to dedicate time to practicing, performing, failing and repeating!
Favorite things about living in Colorado Springs? What is your “vision” for the Springs’ art/music scene?
I feel fortunate to be a part of a growing music scene here in Colorado Springs. It’s only through collaboration and partnership that our music scene will continue to grow and diversify. Conservatory students, mentors and alumni have been making their mark on our local music scene and will continue to be the go-to performers that venues ask for!
What else is “in the works” for Jeff Grady?
I am looking forward to skiing in Japan this coming year and pursuing next steps to become a board-certified music therapist.
Who is your role model(s)?
My role models are all of the hard-working musicians that give themselves to their craft and inspire me to improve.
Favorite quote or personal mantra?
Free the Heel, Free the Mind.
Jeff Grady’s road trip playlist? (5-10+ songs)
- Highroad by Sir Woman
- Holocene by Bon Iver
- Either Way by Wilco
- Bet Ain’t Work the Hand by Leon Bridges
- Stun Me by Liam Bailey