Dr. Jeffery Britton
Dr. Jeff Britton fell in love with jazz music when he was 16. His mother was his piano teacher and, “much to her chagrin,” he started heading off the classical music script. He was a natural improviser and later became a prolific composer.
The first jazz concert he attended was Chuck Mangione right after Feels so Good was released in 1977. From high school through his training in pediatrics, Dr. Britton and his friends would pay about $8 to enjoy jazz all day at the Summerfest Miller Jazz Oasis.
However, his favorite jazz concert took place in Madison about 1984, when he heard the amazing Ella Fitzgerald with surprise guest Joe Pass on guitar. This was the concert of a lifetime.
Although he has been very busy providing pediatric care, Dr. Britton has always pursued his many musical interests. He sang in the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus for twenty years and performed in local musicals including Oklahoma and Evita.
He also plays euphonium with the Sheboygan Pops Band. He composes choir music and instrumental music, which have been performed by local churches and the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. Through local music events, he has also met other jazz musicians.
Due to schedule constraints, Dr. Britton performs jazz in church rather than in clubs. Whenever he composes, he uses jazz chord structure and improvisation skills. He notes that, whether he is composing or performing, the music “has a jazz influence.”
In 1996, he wrote a jazz musical liturgy for First United Lutheran, which was performed four times a year, for twenty years. In the spring of 2021, the South High Jazz Ensemble performed one of his arrangements, and he has another jazz ensemble piece that he may complete in the future.
Dr. Britton listens to jazz on albums, CDs, and recordings. He prefers classic jazz, especially Oscar Peterson, and he has many Peterson albums. He also appreciates Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Herbie Hancock, among others.
At the time of this interview, the last song he played was Satin Doll by Duke Ellington, on keyboard. When playing jazz with a group, he prefers a trio or quartet, because each musician gets to make a larger contribution.
When he is not at work, Dr. Britton continues to create a wide range of musical compositions and arrangements on request. After retirement, he may use his amazing musical talents to compose middle school band music that gives every instrument, including low brass, an interesting role.
Dr. Britton takes care of both the health care needs and the musical needs of our community. Stay tuned to see what he does next!