A native of Southern California, Jeff Linsky discovered the guitar at the age of ten. His passion for the instrument was immediately apparent, as he taught himself to play everything he heard by ear, from the popular music on the radio and television to his own interpretations of classical symphonies. This passion, and the resultant ear training and dexterity he gained from it, did not go unnoticed. Local music store owner and respected guitarist Gene Leis took an interest in Jeff's playing. Gene introduced Jeff to many of the top studio guitarists in Los Angeles at the time, including Laurindo Almeida, Tommy Tedesco, Johnny deRose, Jimmy Stewart, Ron Anthony, Vicente Gomez, and Joe Pass. Spending time with these accomplished musicians proved highly educational. In particular, Jeff took time to study with both Spanish guitar virtuoso Vicente Gomez and jazz great Joe Pass.
By the age of 17, Jeff was already touring as a professional sideman, sharing the stage with pop groups like The Grass Roots and The Standells. At 19, he decided to focus on combining his classical guitar technique with his interest in improvisation and jazz, and began his world travels as a solo guitarist. Jeff "paid his dues" performing in such remote outposts as the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean, never once complaining about having to spend another winter in Bora Bora or another summer in the South of France. In Eastern Europe, Jeff met and performed with popular gypsy jazz violinist Markus Reinhardt (Django's nephew). In Hawaii, Jeff played with the legendary ukulele artist Ohta-San, as well as many other Hawaiian music stars. In Brazil, Jeff recorded with bossa nova pioneer Sergio Augusto and appeared internationally with other prominent Brazilian artists, including guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima and vocalist Claudia Villela (who is featured on some of Jeff's recordings). In Japan, Asturias Guitars produced the Jeff Linsky Model Requinto, a smaller guitar that Jeff performed and recorded with for several years.
In 1988, Jeff signed with Concord Records, releasing the classic CD "Up Late" the same year. Of that popular recording, Jazz Scene Magazine raved: "If, for some unfathomable reason, Latin Jazz has not yet gotten into your blood or touched your soul, then this is the album that will make you a believer!"
Jeff continued to compose in a Latin jazz style on his next project, "Simpatico" (GSPJAZ), featuring former Weather Report alumni Alex Acuna on drums and Alphonso Johnson on the bass. "Simpatico" was highly acclaimed as well, garnering a nomination for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year. Although Jeff's next several CD's varied in style, from the more jazzy, improvised CD “Solo” (GSPJAZ), recognized as a Top Ten CD in Downbeat Magazine's Critics' Poll and included in The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time, to the contemporary jazz/pop project, Passport to the Heart (Concord), Jeff is still perhaps best known as a Latin Jazz artist. The Mel Bay Folio and DVD, Jeff Linsky/Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Solos, significantly reinforces that perception, featuring Jeff's original compositions in performance with the noted percussionist Michael Spiro. Jeff's recent recording, "Guitarra Latina Romántica" further supports his Latin connection. Jeff was even given the title of "Honorary Hispanic" by Latin Beat Magazine.
For more than four decades, Jeff Linsky has traveled the world with his guitar, recording several critically acclaimed albums along the way. His guitar is featured on many recordings for other musicians and composers, as well, and on several compilation albums for Concord Jazz. With his endless repertoire, wonderful improvisational skills, a dry sense of humor and warm stage presence, Jeff has played many of the world's finest concert halls and has been invited to perform privately for Presidents and Royalty. Also an award-winning composer, Jeff's music is featured in film and television in the US and abroad. Recently, Jeff has added performances and recordings on the ukulele to his repertoire, including a successful concert tour of China playing jazz ukulele duets with ukulele star Abe Lagrimas, Jr.