Happy Birthday Jeff Coffin: Performing ‘#41’ Live With Dave Matthews Band & Bela Fleck In 1998

As is tradition, "#41" also featured Béla Fleck and the Flecktones' “Soujourn Of Arjuna.”

By Nate Todd Aug 5, 2021 6:36 am PDT

Dave Matthews Band saxophonist Jeff Coffin celebrates his birthday today. Coffin was born on August 5, 1965 in Massachusetts and grew up in Dexter, Maine. Jeff would go on to graduate from the renowned music program at the University of North Texas in Denton in 1990 with a degree in music education.

In 1997, Coffin joined Béla Fleck and the Flecktones after the group had been performing as a trio following the departure of harmonica player and keyboardist Howard Levy. In 2008, Coffin joined Dave Matthews Band to fill in for saxophonist LeRoi Moore after he suffered an ATV accident. Sadly, LeRoi died from complications due to the accident and Jeff later became a full-time member of DMB.

Coffin’s relationship with DMB began around the same time he joined The Flecktones while the band was in the midst of touring with Dave Matthews and company in 1996 and ‘97. Béla also began working with Dave Matthews Band on their 1998 album, Before These Crowded Streets, adding banjo to a number of tracks and The Flecktones would continue tour with DMB around the album. On December 8, 1998, Coffin and Fleck sat in with DMB on “#41” at The Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts, Jeff’s native state.

The two groups’ history on the song goes back to New Year’s Eve 1996 when Béla Fleck and the Flecktones sat in on “#41” and married it to their composition “Soujourn Of Arjuna.” Since then “#41-Soujourn” has become a tradition whenever the bands team up together. The ‘98 Worcester version stretched to nearly 21 minutes and DMB included the landmark rendition on The Warehouse 5 live compilation.

To celebrate Jeff Coffin’s birthday, listen to the saxophonist perform with Béla Fleck and DMB on “#41” from Worcester in ‘98 below:

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