Saxophonist and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York, who started out on the piano before gravitating to his signature instrument at seven years of age. He played in the school band and when his father was stationed in Nurnberg, Jay entertained the troops and played the German club circuit.
Upon returning to the States, he attended Buffalo’s University of New York where he studied avant garde and classical music. He and Jeremy Wall began jamming together and the seeds of Spyro Gyra were sown. In 1979, they cracked the top forty and topped the adult contemporary charts with the instrumental, “Morning Dance”. They have released albums at a pace of about one a year ever since, and are an enormously popular live act.
In 2000, Jay released his first-ever solo CD, Eye Contact. It was a short-lived departure from the group, and he continues to record and tour with Spyro Gyra.
Spyro Gyra recordings
Morning Dance (Jay Beckenstein)
Here’s “Morning Dance” performed by Spyro Gyra with Jay on sax…