In 1977 Jay enrolled in the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His degree program was Guitar Performance. He studied classical guitar for three years with well-known classical guitarist and Christopher Parkening protégé, Douglas Niedt. In 1979 Jay began studying privately with John Elliott, a legend among Kansas City jazz musicians. He studied with John for seven years, up to February of '86. All during this period Jay was playing full-time - locally in the Kansas City area as well as touring nationally as a sideman and with his own band.
In 1986, tired of the roadwork and needing to be at home with his growing family, Jay started concentrating on building up a student load that would support them and keep him off the road. In a very short time he was teaching 80+ students a week and still performing locally 2 or 3 times a week. He has successfully prepared students for UMKC's Conservatory of Music, Berklee College of Music in Boston, Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, and Miami University. Some of his former students have landed gigs in major label bands touring and recording on a national and international level. He has former students in music industry jobs in New York, Nashville, and LA.
He began accumulating recording equipment in the early '70s and since 1991 there have been 5 releases; 4 recordings of original music and one of jazz standards on his own record label, Music Room Records.
Bo Diddley, The Little River Band, Spirit, The Impressions and R Kelly. He works occasionally with Grammy-nominee Smooth Jazz artist Max Groove as well as Haji Ahkba (Haji has worked with Van Morrison and James Brown). In the late '80's and early '90's, he was in 2 different bands led by famed jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany. He has performed in a duo setting with jazz guitarist Steve Cardenas. He has performed with Narada Michael Walden (Narada has worked with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Santana, Sting, Whitney Huston, Jeff Beck, etc), Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Karrin Allyson, and Will Matthews of the Count Basie Band, to name just a few. In 2011 Jay began working with African Pop singer Jose Hendrix.
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