This Week’s Episode:
I’m flipping through the TV channels one night when I see something that makes me flashback to my childhood.
I think of that photo of me standing next to my best friend Jeff Babko in the backyard near a kiddie pool. I reflect on all the crazy skits he and I dreamt up and performed at his house as kids over the years. I reminisce about how we got older and lost touch as I moved to Hawaii to play softball for college while he studied music in Miami.
As I’m looking at the TV that night, I think… Is that...?? Can that really be...?? OMG it’s Jeff... on Jimmy Kimmel’s show!!
And that’s just one name drop within an incredible career of storytelling through music and comedy. In our extra fun interview, Jeff Babko certainly has plenty of stories to share about his musical career and travels, working with other musicians the world over and collaborating with comedians like Steve Martin and Martin Short.
We talk all about his exploits as well as what it means to be present in your performance (whether it’s music, improv, or storytelling). Plus, we explore key elements necessary for making a connection with your audience, which is an absolute must in storytelling of any kind.
What you will learn in this episode:
- What role music plays in comedy and storytelling
- Why your audience matters in every performance
- How you can best experience your own storytelling
Who is Jeff Babko?
Born and raised in Southern California, Jeff Babko has lived on the West Coast for his entire career of television, film, and live performances. After graduating from the University of Miami’s distinguished Frost School of Music, he began touring internationally with Julio Iglesias, then joined the group, Toto, to tour Europe. He’s also recorded and toured with musical stars like Smokey Robinson, Yo-Yo Ma, Frank Ocean, Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, and John Mayer, among many others.
On the TV side of things, Jeff’s most significant work has to be the past 18 years as the musical arranger, co-composer, and house band member of Jimmy Kimmel Live. But he’s always kept his toes dipped in comedy too. His TV work actually began on Martin Short’s syndicated talk show in 1999. In fact, he still regularly performs with Short and Steve Martin. Jeff has also been on the Emmy award-winning Wayne Brady daytime show and even worked as an Emmy show composer, arranger, and orchestra member for three years.
People have enjoyed his performances at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the White House for the Obamas and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. His work is even featured on the musical scores of several movies like Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and Pixar’s Luca. But today, Jeff and his wife, violinist Songa Lee, produce music from their studio in the San Fernando Valley and regularly perform as a duo in Paso Robles, CA
Links & Resources
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JULIAN REEVESPEAKER, AUTHOR, FORMER MUSIC DIRECTOR OF HAMILTON
JUNA KOLLMEIERASTROPHYSICIST, TED SPEAKER
LTC (RET.) SCOTT MANNGREEN BERET, ENTREPRENEUR, STORYTELLER, TRAINER, COACH, AUTHOR