The strength of our faculty is key to providing a quality educational experience. Jazz Night School instructors include top Seattle musicians and educators who hail from premier music education institutions, including Berklee College of Music, Eastman, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Miami, as well as veterans who have worked with major artists of many eras and genres.
Prolific composer/trumpeter Samantha Boshnack is based in Seattle, where she leads three ensembles of her own music, as well as performs and composes with countless other bands, projects, and recordings. Her music can be heard with the B’shnorkestra – a 14-piece alternative chamber orchestra, and the Sam Boshnack Quintet, which features piano, clarinets, trumpet, bass & drums. In March 2014, the Sam Boshnack Quintet released the critically-claimed “Exploding Syndrome.” In 2013, B’shnorkestra released “Go To Orange” on Present Sounds Recordings. In 2012, she was a featured artist in the Frye Art Museum’s Moment Magnitude exhibit (showcasing exceptional artistic practice in Seattle), one of only 16 artists selected for an Artist Trust Fellowship, and was named Emerging Artist by Earshot Jazz. Since 2004, Boshnack has co-led the modern jazz group Reptet, releasing three full-length records primarily comprised of her originals– “Do This!” (2006), “Chicken or Beef?” (2008), “AT THE CABIN”(2011), and one single on vinyl – “Agendacide” (2009). Boshnack has toured Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada, and extensively in the US. These tours have included international festivals, colleges, grade schools, concerts, theaters, studio, and club performances. Boshnack also composes for the Cuban-inspired band, Picoso. She is a contributing composer to two leading modern big bands – WACO (Washington Composers Orchestra, formally the New York Composers Orchestra featuring Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, and Tom Varner) and Seattle Jazz Composer Ensemble, appearing on their 2012 release Composers Vol. 1. In 2013 she was commissioned by the Seattle Rock Orchestra to appear on a concert of new works.
Boshnack earned a BA in Music Composition from Bard College in 2003. While at Bard, she studied classical composition with Joan Tower and jazz composition with Erica Lindsay. She has receive support and commissioning funds from New Music USA, Meet The Composer, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Jack Straw Productions, ASCAPlus, Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, New York Foundation of the Arts, and Earshot Jazz.
Boshnack was also accepted and attended, through a national call, the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute 2012 presented by The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and American Composers Orchestra in cooperation with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. In February 2014, she attended an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist-in-Residence Program with Marilyn Crispell.
She has performed or recorded with artists such as Butch Morris, Eyvind Kang, Oliver Lake, Los Campesinos, Bobby Previte, David Byrne, Terry Riley, Stuart Dempster, Skerik, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Jherek Bischoff, Tom Varner, Sumi Tonooka, Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio, Joshua Kohl, Paul Kikuchi, Evan Flory Barnes, Paul Rucker, Orkestar Zirkonium, among others.
Marina Christopher is a product of Northwest music programs and she is rapidly gaining notoriety as a bassist, vocalist, educator and composer. After graduating from Central Washington University, she toured the world playing in cruise ship bands. Once back in Seattle, she became a sought-after bassist for artists such as Eugenie Jones, Jacqueline Tabor and Ethiopian jazz musician Meklit Hadero. Marina was also a founding player for the popular jam “Mo’ Jam Mondays” at the Nectar Lounge.
In addition to jazz, Marina also plays in rock and pop music groups Scarlet Parke, The Bad News Botanists, Maluhia, and her own neo-soul project: Marina and the Dreamboats. Marina has also performed on numerous occasions with the Seattle Rock Orchestra. She has performed on a growing number of albums, including two of her own. Her projects have been featured on the television show Band in Seattle, and on-air sessions on KNKX and KVRU. NPR described Marina as “a hip cat”.
Marina currently teaches after-school music programs at Washington Middle School and Kamiak High School. She also joined the faculty of Seattle JazzEd where she teaches workshops and jazz ensembles.
Upright bassist Ray Clemens studied jazz at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California and at the New School for Social Research in New York, honing his craft under the tutelage of masters like Marshall Hawkins, Buster Williams, and Peter Paulsen. An accomplished teacher in his own right, Ray has a wide range of instruction experience, in all age groups and ability levels, ranging from private instruction, to small ensemble and orchestra.
Along his travels through time and space, he has played with many great players including: Harry Pickens, Bob Mintzer, and Arnie Lawrence. Ray also had the opportunity to open for Medeski, Martin, & Wood and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He’s performed at the Kimmel Center, World Café Live, the Roxy, Blue Note, Dazzle Jazz, and the Kennedy Center. Ray has composed more than 150 songs and appeared on 18 albums, that he knows of…
These days he can be seen around Seattle with the original jazz trio Don’t Move.
Trumpeter and composer Hall hails from Spokane, Washington and has studied at Whitworth University, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and the University Of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where he received the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in 2015. His teachers include Terence Blanchard, Michael Spiro, David Baker, Bill Adam, Whit Sidener, and Brian Lynch, under which he pursued his doctoral studies. Hall is the winner of the 2013 National Trumpet Competition - Jazz Division, and has performed and recorded with Bob Hurst, John Daversa, Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman, Alan Pasqua, Brian Lynch, Ira Sullivan, Jeff “Tain” Watts, David Binney, Fred Hersch, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, the Frost Concert Jazz Band, and the Henry Mancini Jazz Septet directed by Terence Blanchard, among many others.
Jared performed at Carnegie Hall with Paquito D’Rivera for the Latin Jazz Traditions Concert and at the 57th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival with the Frost Concert Jazz Band in 2014. He has performed at many Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conferences including Brian Lynch’s Madera Latino: The Latin Side of Woody Shaw in 2016, the University of Miami Afro-Caribbean Artist Ensemble with Brian Lynch in 2014, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band in 2013, and Mixteto Sonido (Latin jazz sextet) in 2012. At JEN 2017, he presented oral history research on Whit Sidener and His Influence on Jazz Education.
His debut album “Hallways”, featuring nine original compositions for quintet, was released in 2017 under the Hollistic MusicWorks record label. As a performer, Jared finds himself comfortable in a variety of musical settings including jazz, Latin jazz, commercial, studio, church, and classical chamber music ensembles. Active in theater productions, he has played trumpet in The Producers, The Pajama Game, Shrek the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Women, Catch Me If You Can, Damn Yankees, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hair, In The Heights, Les Misérables, and Annie, as well as many shows internationally on board Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
Jared has performed with the 5th Avenue Theatre, Symphony Tacoma, Ron Jones' Jazz Forest, and many of the regions outstanding ensembles. An in-demand clinician, guest artist, and adjudicator in the area, Jared has served Pacific Lutheran University, Whitworth University, Eastern Washington University, Tacoma Community College, Sno-King Music Educators Association, Lakewood Washington Solo-Ensemble Festival, Juanita High School, Edmonds Woodway High School, Salk Middle School, Stadium High School, Bellevue College Jazz Festival, Jazz Night School, Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences, Twin Falls Middle School, Chief Kanim Middle School, Northshore Jazz Festival, and Frontier Jazz Festival.
Erik Hanson - Executive Director
Erik Hanson studied jazz piano and has a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz composition and arranging from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA where he benefited from mentoring by luminaries Herb Pomeroy and Mike Gibbs. With a music career spanning over twenty-five years, he has been a big band and small ensemble composer, arranger, and leader; recording industry synthesist, arranger, band coach, and producer in Los Angeles, CA; and private music educator.
Erik Hanson is the founder of Jazz Night School and has created an outstanding environment for learning at all levels. Drawing on inspiration from his own encounters with jazz and pop music icons, such as Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz, Terri Lyne Carrington, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Rod Temperton, and the best of his learning experiences, Erik has created an outstanding jazz education curricula and methodology especially suited for beginning to intermediate level jazz musicians—empowering musicality and improvisation at each ability level.
Ryan Hoffman has been part of the Seattle music scene for over 20 years and has played extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Ryan grew up in Kansas City. He first picked up the guitar at age eleven and started playing in working rock bands as a teenager. He continued to play in rock, alt-rock and punk bands through college until he became interested in traditional American music styles; bluegrass, blues, folk and ragtime. His interest in roots music led him all over the country, touring and seeking opportunities to play and learn. A five month stay in New Orleans inspired him to take up swing jazz, and being a lover of acoustic music, the move to Gypsy jazz seemed natural. The style is so rich for the guitar.
In 2000, Ryan spent several months in France researching Gypsy Jazz music. After which he returned to the U.S. to start Zazou. Based in Seattle, Zazou has been a popular Gypsy Jazz band around the Puget Sound for over 10 years. The group has released three CDs: Zazou, Djangolotry and Merle Noir, has played in private and public venues all over the region, toured the West Coast, contributed original music to a movie soundtrack and had their music used for a series of local TV commercials. In 2004, Ryan returned to France and The Netherlands for an extended stay to study with guitarists Fapy Lafertin and Sammy Daussat. He also had the good fortune to play alongside outstanding guitarists, Angelo Debarre, David Reinhardt, Noe Reinhardt and Sebastien Giniaux at jazz jams in Paris.
In 2007, he joined the Northwest’s most well known Gypsy Jazz combo Pearl Django and began touring a gigging internationally. Ryan has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Martin Taylor, Fapy Lafertin, Bucky Pizzarelli, Larry Coryell, Howard Alden, Andreas Oberg, Robin Nolan, Tcha Limberger, Olli Sokkeli, Ken Peplowski, Darol Anger, Connie Evingson, Dave Kelbie, Greta Matassa and Gail Pettis. He has also performed with the Seattle Musical Theatre and the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Ryan’s playing and compositions are featured on Pearl Django’s CDs, “Systeme D” and “Eleven”.
Ryan continues to manage Zazou and his own combos, as well as work as a recording artist. He plays with Pearl Django, Zazou, the Ryan Hoffman Trio and sits in with other local bands such as Hot Club Sandwich, The Djangomatics and Bric-a-Brac on occasion. He maintains a busy teaching schedule teaching private lessons, clinics, school classes and online lessons. In his private life, he loves to spend time with his wife and young daughter or in the kitchen, cooking up something or other.
Julio Jauregui is a highly acclaimed, multi-talented musician, composer, arranger, recording engineer and producer. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Julio grew up in Mexico City. His musical education began at age six focusing on the importance of rhythmic structures in a group format. He attended the National School of Music from 1984-1987 where he studied percussion with the National Symphony percussionist Julio Villegas and performed with the National Symphony Orchestra.
In 1990, Julio moved to Eugene, Oregon, excelling at Lane Community College and finishing his music degree at the University of Oregon. He studied jazz piano with Gary Versace and jazz improvisation with saxophonist Steve Owen. He has been a member or musical director of many types of ensembles (latin jazz, salsa, folk, funk, jazz), including Caliente, Sandunga, Combination to Go (with Santana’s drummer/percussionist Mingo Lewis), La Mayor, Atmosphere, and when moving to Seattle in 1997, Latin Expression, Matices, and Cambalache with Camilo Suarez. Julio has recorded with Children of the Revolution, Guil Guimaraes, Jeff Busch, Nueva Era and others. He was part of Joe Santiago’s Salsa all-stars concert in 2003 with Giovanni Hidalgo, Joe Santiago, Giovanni Lugo, Pablito “El Indio” Rosario, and has performed with Adalberto Santiago, David Pabon, Hector Tricoche, Lalo Rodriguez, and others.
In 2001 Julio joined forces with singer and long-time friend Carlos Cascante and formed Tumbao, a Latin sextet (see their CD “Recuerdos”), and from 2004 to 2007 he was the musical director for the musical “Musica Vitae” at the Century Ballroom.
Julio has recorded, mixed and produced several Latin recordings throughout the Pacific Northwest which has put him at the forefront of the Latin music scene. In 2006 he produced and recorded with Steve Guasch in his two albums “Suiguiendo la Tradicion” and “Influencias” which received world recognition. In 2011 he recorded another CD with Carlos Cascante and Tumbao entitled “Hablando en Serio”, and recorded and mixed a CD entitled “Flights of Mind” with the Elspeth Savani Latin Jazz Quintet.
Dave Loomis has played in many traditional and big band jazz settings for over 35 years, including stints with the Uptown Lowdown Jazzband, Evergreen Classic Jazzband, and Glenn Crytzer’s Blue Rhythm Orchestra. He currently plays with Holotradband where the band had an eight year gig playing small group swing at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant, the Casey MacGill Orchestra, and Jazz Night School’s Big Band Blue.
Seattle-based guitarist, composer and music educator Greg Ruby performs and writes in many styles of vintage jazz. Described as “truly hot jazz” by Vintage Guitar magazine, his CD, Look Both Ways, reached #1 on the Roots Music Review’s jazz chart. Greg leads The Greg Ruby Quartet, a Hot Club jazz group dedicated to all-original compositions. He collaborates with New York and New Orleans musicians in The Rhythm Runners, a Prohibition-era dance band, and plays Valse musette and European café jazz with the Bric-a-brac Trio. Greg is a former member of the venerable group Pearl Django, and currently leads his own groups at swing dances, concert halls, and festivals.
As a respected music instructor, he teaches at schools, camps and clinics and has authored the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1 and the Oscar Aleman Play-Along book. Recently, he has received funding from 4Culture’s Heritage and Arts Projects to investigate, record and republish the nearly lost compositions of Seattle’s 1920s jazz pioneer Frank D. Waldron. Greg holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Cornish College of the Arts.
Jovino Santos Neto
Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto, a master pianist, composer and arranger, is among the top Brazilian musicians working today. Currently based in Seattle, Washington, he has throughout his career been closely affiliated with the Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal. He was an integral part of Pascoal's group from 1977 to1992, where he fine-tuned his artistry, performing around the world and co-producing several legendary records.
Jovino’s personal style is a creative blend of energetic grooves, deep harmonies, telepathic improvisation, lyrical melodies and great ensemble playing, always inspired and informed by the colorful richness of Brazilian music. His compositions include samba, choro,baião, xote, forró, marcha and many more styles, rooted in centuries-old musical tradition while pointing to new and adventurous harmonic languages.
Currently, Jovino leads his Seattle-based Quinteto and teaches piano and composition at Cornish College of the Arts. He can also be heard around the world as a piano soloist, working with symphony orchestras, jazz big bands, chamber music groups, and in collaboration with musicians such as his mentor Hermeto Pascoal, Bill Frisell, Paquito d’Rivera, Airto Moreira, Claudio Roditi, David Sanchez, Joe Locke, Marco Granados and many more.
Since moving to the US from his native Rio de Janeiro in 1993, Jovino Santos Neto has continued to tour the world and to record prolifically. He has recorded multiple CDs with his Seattle-based Quinteto, including Canto do Rio, nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2004. In 2006 Adventure Music released Roda Carioca with an all-Brazilian lineup including Joyce, Hermeto Pascoal and several other notable musicians and long time colleagues, earning him a second Latin Grammy nomination. In 2007, after receiving a special commission from Brazil’s Petrobras, Jovino composed and recorded Alma do Nordeste, a musical journey translating the essence of Northeastern Brazil into melodies, rhythms and improvisations – connecting regional, universal, imaginary and real stories. In 2008 he released a piano duo with Weber Iago, Live at Caramoor, also nominated for a Latin Grammy award in 2009. In 2010 Veja o Som (See the Sound) was released, a double disc collection of duos with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Joe Locke, Paquito d’Rivera, Anat Cohen, João Donato, Airto Moreira, Joyce, Paula Morelenbaum and Monica Salmaso, among others. In 2011 Adventure Music released Corrente(Current) featuring his Quinteto performing all new original music. Jovino’s newest recording is Guris, tribute to Hermeto Pascoal done as a piano duo with the brilliant Brazilian pianist André Mehmari, scheduled to be released in June 2017 on Adventure Music.
Jovino’s compositions have been performed by the Seattle Symphony, NDR Big Band in Hamburg and by numerous jazz and chamber music groups. Jovino gives lectures, clinics and master classes worldwide on a variety of musical topics.
Jovino has received commissions by the Cheswatyr Foundation, IAJE, ASCAP, CMA/Doris Duke Foundation, Jack Straw Foundation, the City of Seattle, 4Culture, Artist Trust and Meet the Composer. He has been artist in residence at some of the most prestigious music schools in the world. In 2012 he was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame and in 2011, 2012 and 2016 the Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto won as Best Northwest Acoustic Group in the Golden Ear Awards by Earshot Jazz. He also was awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship in Music in 2012.
“What I love about music is that it brings people together, changes hearts and heals divides. With a musical instrument people can learn how to follow a discipline, create a routine, build good coordination, concentrate, do their best, relax, get excited about making a pleasing sound, read music, improvise, perform with others, write songs, learn more about themselves and use their creativity. Music is my calling and I find it an honor to work with each student."
Tobi grew up in Washington State, in a musical family, learning guitar from a young age and starting band in 5th grade on her Dad’s old beater clarinet. When she heard a professional saxophonist perform at her middle school, she fell in love with the sound, and had the opportunity to take clarinet and saxophone lessons. She had family and community support to continue studying music, taking lessons through high school picking up flute and piano studies at University of Washington where she graduated with a Bachelors in Music Performance, emphasis in Jazz Studies.
Tobi has studied with Don Lanphere, Bert Wilson, Nancy King, Jay Thomas, Rob Schepps, Michael Brockman, Randy Halberstadt, Bill Smith/William O. Smith, Jordan Ruwe, Darren Motamedy, Paul Harshman, Cynthia Hughen, Ann Reynolds.
Over last 22 years, Tobi’s performing career has ranged from touring and recording with The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums in Europe and US from 2002-2007, Reptet Jazz Septet in the US from 2001-2008, to playing regularly at Benaroya Hall with Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra from 2012-2015. She has played in dance bands, small jazz groups, and performed on live radio broadcasts KEXP, KPLU, and on t.v. KING 5. Tobi has appeared with Dave Brubeck, Kristen Chenoweth, Branford Marsalis, Anat Cohen, Meshiya Lake, Don Lanphere, Nancy King, and Bert Wilson. She has had the opportunity to play with The Seattle Symphony, The Tacoma Symphony, Clave Gringa, Septet of Darkness, Picoso, Choro Loco, Big World Breaks, Zubatto Syndicate, Cataldo, Kissing Potion, Publish The Quest. She is a former member of Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Thione Diop's Afro Groove, The Jefferson Rose Band, B'shnorkestra, Ann Reynolds Jazz Duo, Night and Day Trio, and Susan Palmer Jazz Duo.
Experience with musical genres: Classical, Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues, Klezmer, African, Brazilian, Reggae, Pop, Folk, Electronic and Improvisational Music.
Clif Swiggett grew up in New York and started playing jazz trombone as a teenager, including touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, playing with the Clem DeRosa All-Star Big Band, and playing lead bone in the McDonald’s Tri-State Jazz Ensemble for three years which included backing up Dizzy Gillespie for shows in New York, playing the Newport and Kool Jazz Festivals, and performing live on the Merv Griffin Show.
At Princeton Clif was the Student Director of the Princeton University Jazz Ensemble for four years. Since moving to Seattle in 1985, he’s played with many different bands including The Room To Move Sextet (hard bop including Jazz Messengers material), Cambalache and Carribbean Roots (Salsa and Afro-Cuban), The Brian Waite Band (raggae, funk, jazz, rock), and many of Seattle’s great big bands. He also plays bass in jazz, rock, and salsa groups. He currently plays trombone with Roadside Attraction and The Smith-Staelens Big Band, and performs weekly in a duo with wife Nelda Swiggett on piano.
Clif says, “The first jazz LP I had was Art Blakey’s “A Night at Birdland, Volume 2″ with Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver, and Curly Russell (alas, no trombone!). Amazing music. Pretty incredible that Blakey’s groups spanned five decades, included (inspired, taught) many of the best players on the planet, recorded over 100 albums, and played this amazingly wide range of styles all rooted in distinctive Blakey hard driving, horn-line powered, bop. His bands were world famous. It’s exciting, intense, meaningful music to study and play – there’s so much to learn and experience especially for intermediate to advanced players.” Clif has studied and performed Jazz Messengers music with the Benny Green combo at Centrum.
Jazz pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett is a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate. She formed her first band, the Room to Move sextet, in 1990, and has since headlined her own group at many of the Northwest’s top jazz venues.
Nelda has recorded four CDs of her original music. Room to Move | No Time for Daydreams (1993) features sextet arrangements for trumpet, tenor and trombone. In 1998, her talent for composition was recognized by an Artist Trust Fellowship funded by the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her second release as a leader followed — Nelda Swiggett Quartet | Hands On (1999).
In 2010, Nelda released her third recording — Nelda Swiggett Trio | This Time (OA2 Records). “… a stunning project, put together by three imaginative swingers … held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett.” (JazzTimes). Nelda’s most recent CD, Blue-Eyed Painted Lady (OA2 Records 2014), features her five-piece band “Stringtet”, a collaboration between her jazz piano trio and veteran Seattle Symphony musicians on viola and cello.
Nelda’s original big band arrangements have been performed by Seattle’s nationally recognized Garfield High School Jazz Band I and the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO). Most recently, Nelda won SWOJO’s 2015 international Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers, and her big band arrangement, “Cat Dreams,” was debuted in the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival. Nelda also keeps a busy schedule as a freelance pianist, private piano teacher and clinician.
Chris has performed and/or recorded with Roger Kellaway, Bennie Maupin, Robben Ford, Theo Saunders, Kai Akagi, Kate McGarry, Tierney Sutton, Larry Koonse, Kim Richmond, Bob Florence and many more. Originally from Southern California Chris relocated to Seattle in 2002, where he makes his living as a freelance jazz musician. His recent projects have included recordings with The Johnaye Kendrick Quartet (Here, 2014), Jim Knapp’s Scrape (2013) and Nelda Swiggett’s Swingtet (2014).
Chris has played and taught clinics throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America. He has appeared on soundtracks for television, movies, theatre, performance art, and in settings from duos to big bands and symphony orchestras. Since May of 2000, Chris has been tuning in fifths and enjoys the altered palette of colors that tuning provides.
Jay Thomas, a native of Seattle, is a versatile multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, flugelhorn, alto, tenor, soprano and flutes). His music could be described as earthy and lyrical with the blues and swing always in evidence. Jay grew up in the fertile atmosphere of Seattle’s 60’s jazz scene sometimes subbing for Quincy Jones alumnus Floyd Standifer while still in high school. Clubs such as the “ H.O.E.” otherwise known as the House of Entertainment and the Black and Tan and the Llahngaelhyn figured prominently in Jay’s early years of trial and error music making. The end of 1968 saw Jay move to New York where he worked and studied for several years. Highlights include gigging for a summer with Machito’s Latin band, recording for James Moody on the Perception label, and taking private lessons with Carmine Caruso. Three years later Jay added flute and tenor to his repertoire. Through the mid-seventies while living in the S.F.Bay Area Jay met Jessica Williams and went on to record on three of her CD’s.
Jay moved back to Seattle in 1978 and became a frequent member of the house band at Parnell’s Jazz Club working engagements with jazz artists George Cables, Charles McPherson, Bill Mays, Ralph Penland, Harold Land, and Slim Gaillard. At Parnell’s, Jay became friends with jazz masters Zoot Sims and Sal Nistico, among others. Jay’s first two CDs, Easy Does It on Discovery Records and Blues for McVouty on Stash Records featured Cedar Walton and Billy Higgins. 360 Degrees on Hep Records and Rapture on Jazz Focus continued to establish Jay’s reputation. Jay’s previous CDs from McVouty Records titled Live at Tula’s, Volume 1 and Volume 2 and 12th and Jackson Blues were live performances and have the feel of the clubs where Jay was first baptized into the world of jazz. Jay recorded with Herb Ellis on Roll Call and with Bud Shank on On the Trail. This was the last recording by Conte Condoli and Jay is playing tenor and soprano sax in a sextet setting with Bill Mays on piano, Joe LaBarbara on drums, Bob Magnuson on bass, and of course Bud on alto.
Two recordings have Jay teamed up with jazz greats Ray Brown (Blues for Dexter, Wolfetones Records) and Elvin Jones (Jones for Elvin, Hip City Records). Jay has appeared in concert with the bands of Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, and Frank Wess. He has played festivals at Wolf Trap with Red Rodney and Ira Sullivan, the Aspen Jazz Festival with Herb Ellis, Jake Hanna and Mel Ryne (recorded with them on Roll Call), the du Maurier Jazz Festival with Chuck Israels Trio and with the Jay Thomas Quartet. Jay toured Great Britain with jazz legend Slim Gaillard recording there with Slim, Jay McShann and Buddy Tate. In the summer of 2002, Jay again traveled to Europe, this time with the Bud Shank Sextet featuring Plas Johnson. Today Jay is a member of one of Japan’s leading big bands, CUG (Continued in the Underground Jazz Orchestra), and co-leads a sextet with Kohama Yasuhiro and Atsushi Ikeda. Jay tours in Japan, recording and performing, several times a year. Jay is also a member of SRJO (Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra) and also has a Neo- Boogaloo Hard Bop band called “The Cantaloupes”.
Jay is also involved with passing the music on to future generations. He is an adjunct professor at Cornish College of the Arts, and works at the renowned Garfield High School, tutoring kids in improvisation. Jay often does clinics and workshops at universities in the US and Japan and is an instructor in several prominent jazz camps each summer.