A classically-trained violinist, he, like his friend Bo Diddley, gave it up to play another instrument - for Jenkins, it was the saxophone. He began trying the violin in an improvisatory context when he joined the AACM; now he, Michael White, and Ornette Coleman are the fathers of post-jazz fiddle. Member, variously, of the Creative Construction Company, the Revolutionary Ensemble, and an electric jazz experiment called Sting; now leads his own groups.