Jeff Donaldson has been playing drums and percussion since 1995. He has been the drummer for the Jay Jesse Johnson Band since 2014, performing under the stage name “Smokey”. The band has appeared at many festivals and venues around the Midwest, and represented Cincinnati at the 2017 International Blues Challenge. Jeff’s drumming is featured on the band’s albums Set the Blues on Fire (2015) and Down the Hard Road (2017). He is also the drummer for Eric Leyton and the Lifters, and is featured on their latest single Perfect Path, as well as their upcoming album.

In 2007 and 2008, Jeff performed in the pit orchestra at Jenny Wiley Theatre. There he played drums and percussion for such shows as A Chorus Line, Westside Story, High School Musical, and The Wizard of Oz.

He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Morehead State University, where he studied under Frank Oddis and Brian Mason. During his time at Morehead, Jeff performed in a variety of ensembles, including the percussion ensemble, symphonic band, and jazz band.