Jenny Klukken is a marimbist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jenny combines her classical percussion background with her passion for folk/jazz/world music and improvisation. She bridges the gap between virtuosic and precise repertoire with live, creative, and adaptive music-making. Jenny actively engages as an innovative marimbist by performing in and composing for unexpected ensemble settings including jazz, Latin, bluegrass, Brazilian, Indian classical, rock, and more. She values music that speaks to a wide variety of audiences and that pushes the boundaries of her instrument by collaborating in creative genre and instrument fusions. She strives to break ground as a marimbist by taking the instrument out of quiet recital halls and into new ears, and by celebrating its versatility with approachable, exciting, and unique music.
Jenny is native to central rural Minnesota and grew up in a home full of bluegrass, gospel, and Irish music, which is where she draws much of her inspiration as a composer from. She first moved to the Twin Cities area to study percussion performance at the University of Minnesota with Fernando Meza, Steve Yeager, and Phil Hey. While studying classical percussion, Jenny discovered her aptitude for performing and composing for marimba. Since completing her formal education, Jenny has been and active marimbist and percussionist in the Twin Cities.
In 2012, Jenny co-founded the percussion group Matra, an innovative percussion-based ensemble that strives to fuse musical styles for approachable, yet incredibly unique, music. Matra provides Jenny with a platform for composing and playing marimba in her own unique approach. In May of 2017, Matra released its first full length album of all originally composed works, including 3 compositions by Jenny. Learn more and listen at www.matrapercussion.com
Jenny's latest project is with local singer/songwriter/guitarist Robert Everest and percussionist Andrew Turpening, "Sticks and Strings". In this ensemble, Jenny explores the marimba's possibilities in Brazilian music. Jenny recently won a grant through the MacPhail Center for Music and The McKnight Foundation for this ensemble to kickstart a concert series in the Twin Cities area.
In 2013, Jenny became the first female to join the percussion faculty at the MacPhail Center for Music, a non-profit organization for community music education that was founded in 1907 and now serves over 13,000 music students. Jenny also teaches percussion lessons and ensembles at Chanhassen High School, which enrolls over 1500 students in the western Twin Cities suburbs.