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Azzolina, Jay (23 December 1952-Present)

Guitarist from Meriden, Connecticut, who started out on the piano and trumpet until discovering his signature instrument at his dad’s music shop at age eleven. He attended Berklee College of Music and Hartt School of Music and his mentors included Charlie Banacos, Mick Goodrick, and Pat Metheny.

In 1981, he moved from Boston to New York City and put himself right in the center of the action, playing with acts such as Ricky Lee Jones, Chuck Mangione, The Manhattan Transfer, Herbie Mann, Carly Simon and Donna Summer.

He recorded his first solo album, Never Too Late, in the winter of 1987-1988. It was on the shelves in 1989, when Spyro Gyra scooped him up for their next release, Point of View. He also appeared on the follow-up, Fast Forward, in 1990.

He decided to further his education at Purchase, New York’s Conservatory of Music, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 1995. Soon thereafter, he embarked on a teaching career at his alma mater and Manhattanville College.

He joined The John Patitucci Band in 1997 and John returned the favour by performing on and co-producing Jay’s next solo effort, Past Tense, at the turn of the millennium. He downsized his band to a trio and released Live at One Station Plaza in 2002. The threesome was rounded out by Adam Nussbaum on drums and Gary Versace on the Hammond B-3 organ. He has released two CDs since, Local Dialect and The Rolling Stones Project.

Here he is performing guitar on “Search for Peace” with Jo Patituci on bass….