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 and live, creative, and adaptive music making. Jenny actively engages as an innovative marimbist by performing in a 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 folk 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, but 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 about and take a listen here.
Jenny also collaborates with Twin Cities local singer/songwriter/guitarist Robert Everest and percussionist Andrew Turpening in the Brazilian jazz/world jazz trio “Marimba Nova”. In 2017, Marimba Nova received its first grant to kick start the ensemble by performing four Twin Cities concerts, including a commissioned piece written by Jenny.
Jenny's most recent project is with Work Wife, a quartet made up of herself on marimba, Krissy Bergmark (Matra, Piciformes, A Sprig of That) on tabla, Olivia Deircks (OK Factor) on cello, and Karla Colahan (The OK Factor) on violin. This innovative group combines their unique instrumentation and voices with music inspired by folk, pop, world, and classical music. Jenny has arranged and composed many original works for this ensemble, one original composition can be heard here.
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. She also teaches through MacPhail’s Music for Life program, bringing music appreciation classes to older adults living with dementia. Jenny shares her passion for people and music with her class Drum for Life, a hands-on drumming class for older adults with memory loss. Jenny was a workshop presenter at the 2014 Artsage Midwestern Conference in St. Paul MN, helping to promote artful aging for seniors through percussion. Click here to learn more about MacPhail Center for Music.
Jenny also teaches percussion lessons and ensembles at Chanhassen High School, which enrolls over 1500 students in the western Twin Cities suburbs.
Jenny is an endorsed artist by Marimba One of Arcata, California.
“Marimba One has always clearly been in the instrument for me. No instrument can match the warmth of these marimbas! Thank you to Ron Samuels and Marimba One for your amazing instruments and for your support!” -Jenny