Jeffrey A. Townes (born January 22 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), also known as DJ Jazzy Jeff, is an American hip hop and R&B record producer and turntablist. He is best known for his early career with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. DJ Jazzy Jeff graduated from John Bartram High School in Philadelphia where he is enshrined in the school's "Wall of Fame".
DJ Jazzy Jeff is not to be confused with Jeffrey Myree from the earlier hip hop group Funky Four Plus One, which in fact filed and won a lawsuit over the name Jazzy Jeff against Jeff Townes and Jive records when they signed DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
After DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince broke up, Townes went on to become a prominent R&B, soul, and neo soul record producer, establishing the A Touch of Jazz production company in his native Philadelphia. Among the artists that Jazzy Jeff has helped develop are Jill Scott and Musiq. Even though he separated from Will Smith as music partners, they are still best friends and still occasionally work together. Some songs by Will Smith were produced by Jeff Townes (Ex. Here He Comes), and he has performed on some songs by Will Smith such as "So Fresh" and "Potnas". In addition, he appears in several of Smith's music videos such as "Will2K", "Freakin' It", and "Party Starter". On some occasions, he makes appearances with Smith on live concerts, producing DJ scratches.
He, along with DJ Cash Money, is credited with making the transform scratch famous.
On July 2 2005, DJ Jazzy Jeff performed with Will Smith at the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia. In the past, Will has performed on concerts with DJ Jazzy Jeff for the scratches. Moreover, Will acknowledges him in his music like "Comin' To The Stage" from the album Lost & Found or "Potnas" in his album Willennium.
His 2007 release The Return of the Magnificent is a classic work which returns to the roots of hip-hop with a neo-soul mixture included. This album featured numerous collaborations with old school and new school artists including CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pos from De La Soul, Method Man, Peedi Crakk (a remake of Brand New Funk), Rhymefest, and Raheem DeVaughn.
In 2007, he appeared with Rhymefest in the video DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Fest directed by Konee Rok, in which he makes music in his home recording studio with Rhymefest and they reveal that they are working on an album together called "I'm the DJ, I'm the Rapper".
In 2008 he performed with past partner Will Smith at the premier of Smith's 2008 film Hancock.