About Jen

 

Jen is a popular singer in the Greater Springfield area.  She is a regular music minister (for over 20 years!) on the weekly televised program, Chalice of Salvation, broadcast on WWLP-TV.   She has been honored to be the featured vocalist at the annual New England LifeChoice Donor Services Gathering since 2006.  She has provided the music for the Saturday evening mass at Springfield’s Sacred Heart Church for 28 years and now also sings at the 9:00 mass on Sundays with Jean Haughey and Fred Marion.  She sings at weddings, private parties and benefit events and is the lead vocalist for the Jen Gaffney Quartet.

The Quartet includes the insanely talented Steve Moser on keys & vocals, the fabulous Sean McLoughlin on drums & vocals and the smokin’ sax of John Scherer.  The group covers a wide range of styles, from Standards like ‘At Last’ and ‘Fever’ to R&B gems like ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’ and ‘Chain of Fools’ to Pop favorites like ‘Something to Talk About’, ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘Smooth Operator’.  The Quartet’s repetoire also includes Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘Saving All My Love for You’.  With Sean taking lead vocals, the Quartet also covers Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ and ‘Hard to Handle’.  The group performs regularly at Patrick’s on School Street in Chicopee.

Jen is a former member of the Dan Kane Singers, a local singing group.  She was a regular soloist in the annual DKS Christmas Spectacular, which consistently sold out at Symphony Hall and the Mass Mutual Center.  Jen’s DKS performances also included concerts at CityStage in Springfield as well as countless Inspirational concerts at local churches.  Critical reviews have described various past performances as “exquisite and inspirational”, “heartfelt’ and “perfection”.  Jen also performed with ‘Dan Kane & Friends’ and ‘Fred Marion & Friends’ whose venues have included the Majestic Theatre in West Springfield, the Munich Haus restaurant in Chicopee, Chez Josef and the Big E.   She performed in the annual outdoor summer concerts, including the East Longmeadow Rotary Concerts, the West Springfield Summer Pops Concerts at Storrowtown and the Blandford Fair.

Singing and performing have always been her passion.  Jen’s best memories of high school are of the rehearsals and performances as Irene Molloy in “Hello Dolly”.  She performed in the annual minstrel shows and, in her senior year, she took the lead as Jennifer Rumson in “Paint Your Wagon”.  Long-coveted voice lessons started at age 17 with the acclaimed Peter Thompsen of Longmeadow.  “Peter first introduced me to the concept of placement”, she remembers.  “Who knew how useful blowing raspberries could be?!”  In her last two years at Smith College, she studied voice with the late, highly esteemed soprano and voice instructor, Adrienne Auerswald in Northampton.

 

Solo Recordings

Jen’s first solo CD project was Sugar & Spice.  Simultaneously taking on roles of producer, director and vocalist, Jen brought on board the amazing Steve Murray to create wonderful arrangements for each Big Band number and then co-arranged the remaining songs with Dan Kane.  With the help of friend and very talented sax player Ed Mari, Jen gathered a fabulous group of musicians for the project.  She attributes the CD’s refreshingly innovative and polished sound to these artists whose extraordinary talent made the CD possible.  Sugar & Spice is: “Tasty Big Band, Jazz and Broadway treats served up with a scrumptious blend of Sugar & Spice and so much more.”

“People who only know me from church and Chalice are surprised at Sugar & Spice”, Jen said in 2003.  “But I had performed with some wonderful, wonderful local musicians and I couldn’t pass up the chance to do some upbeat, fun music with spicy (and sometimes sassy!) big band arrangements!  I mean, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing to arrangements like those that you’ll hear on All That Jazz, At Last, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Big Time and This Can’t Be Love on the CD.  The wild, gypsy violin on Nature Boy / Autumn Leaves and the soulful cello on Over the Rainbow are exquisite!  There was a great big team of talent involved on this CD.  I had so much fun with them – and am so proud of all that they brought to the finished product!”

In 2007, Jen released her locally anticipated inspirational CD, ‘You Raise Me Up’.  “This CD allowed me to capture many of my favorite inspirational songs and hymns – things that people hear me do at church and on Chalice”, Jen says.  “I especially wanted to capture a couple of the pieces that Chris Houlihan and I did together – like the Malotte version of The Lord’s Prayer on organ and Amazing Grace on piano.  Chris is an insanely talented young man and a world-reknown organist at this point.  We started working together at Sacred Heart when he was a teenager.  His work on this CD is absolutely amazing!”  Jen was also privileged to sing with gifted vocalist friends David Labigalini, Meghann Fahy and Dawn Jarrell.  The CD also includes Jen’s version of The Prayer, which was made popular by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. Jen sings both the English and Italian parts, recording multiple tracks on the CD to provide the harmonies. She performed her locally popular version of The Prayer in the Dan Kane Singers church concerts.

In late 2016, Jen released her Christmas CD, entitled ‘Joy’.  The new disc includes 14 Christmas favorites and features several wonderful guest vocalists.  The disc features chestnuts like Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells and Blue Christmas as well as traditional carols like Silent Night, God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen and O Holy Night and contemporary gems like Mary, Did You Know and Hallelujah.

 

Other Recordings

In 2002, Jen also recorded a contemporary version of Hail Mary, beautifully composed and arranged by Steve Moser for the New Traditions label.  The song features 3-part harmonies, all sung by Jen who shares vocal arrangement credits with Steve on the song.  It was released in 2003 and aired on WJMJ 88.9 in Hartford, CT. Lauded as a “classically styled, meditative musical devotion”.  It is available for sale on the New Traditions website at http://www.new-wedding-traditions.com/hailmary.htm.

 

Jen lives in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts with her husband, Michael, and their cocker spaniels, Marco and Mario. She is currently employed as a Data Analyst at The Hartford Insurance Company in Hartford, CT.