In July, musicians, businesses, and volunteers put together what they called Jeff Fest in the parking lot of the Doublewide. The benefit concert was for Jeff Saenz, a local musician and producer who suffered third- and fourth-degree burns after he accidentally grabbed a downed power line in his backyard. Saenz underwent nine surgeries and lost both of his hands. The local music community raised over $75,000 at Jeff Fest and their goal is to raise more for Saenz and his family at Jeff Fest 2.
Saenz, co-owner of Modern Electric Sound Records, is a beloved fixture in the local music scene. “When people couldn’t afford things, he donated studio time, and personal time,” says Ric Bowden, personal friend and neighbor of Saenz. Bowden spoke about Saenz’s charitable spirit to local and national musicians. “He has been influential in so many peoples lives that when this happened, a lot of that came back to him.”
Outside of Dallas, musicians in Austin, Los Angeles and Nashville have offered to host benefit concerts for Saenz. Jeff Fest 2, the second benefit concert will be held on September 1 at The Granada Theater. The stacked lineup includes Shaky Graves, The Texas Gentlemen, Charlie Sexton, About You, Medicine Man Revival, Retrophonics, Jim Heath, and Sam Anderson. Proceeds from ticket sales go toward the Jeff Saenz Recovery Project, a fund for Saenz, his wife Monica, and their children.
Bowden and his partner founded the recovery project as a long-term fundraiser to cover expenses for Saenz and his family. According to Bowden, Saenz’s vision for the recovery project is to provide monetary aid for musicians and their families in the future. Saenz’s charitable spirit is felt throughout the music community. The participating bands for Jeff Fest 2 donated their booking fees to the fundraiser.
Saenz is a beloved engineer who owns the studio Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Old East Dallas, which has recorded artists like Leon Bridges and Paul Cauthen. He has left a mark on artists across the country—other benefit shows were planned in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Austin, according to Rolling Stone, which profiled him after the accident.
If you are unable to attend the in-person concert, supporters can donate directly on the Jeff Saenz Recovery Project website or participate in the concert’s virtual silent auction and raffle. Register here for the Babysnakes (Jeff Saenz’s nickname) online benefit. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Saenz family. Tickets for Jeff Fest 2 can be found here.
If you can, Dallas, show up for the Saenz family.