Jay’s longtime friend and collaborator is Dave Weckl, one of the world’s most respected drummers. Jay & Dave grew up together in St. Louis, Missouri, and have been best friends since highschool.
Out of a small studio in St. Louis in 1990, Jay and Dave incepted a prolific jazz fusion style that later became a staple for many jazz fusion afficianados. After partnering with Dave on his first three solo releases the dynamic duo then went on to form The Dave Weckl Band, which created 2 records and several world tours.
Also out of Jay’s studio in St. Louis, he was introduced to a young school teacher who had dreams of becoming a recording artist. A young newcomer by the name of Sheryl Crow. Quickly becoming the best of friends, they would stay up late at night and listen to Stevie Wonder, Suzanne Vega and Rickie Lee Jones, among others as well as sit at the piano where Jay taught her the more advanced aaspects of jazz and harmony. At the time, Jay was the top local producer in St. Louis, and he eventually starting using Sheryl for sessions.
“When Sheryl walked into my studio she was just a small town farm girl with blue jeans and a tee- shirt. Her voice was young and derivitive, but she carried more drive and conviction than anyone I’d ever seen,” quotes Jay.
Fast-Forward a few years, and Jay and Sheryl had moved to Los Angeles, where they began writing songs together, and she eventually landed a publishing contract and then a record deal with A&M records. Some of the songs they had written were recorded by the likes of Celine Dion, Wynonna Judd and others.
Glenn Frey/The Eagles
Jay was Glenn Frey’s keyboardist, co-producer and co-writer for 10 years, working mostly out of Glenn’s studio in Aspen, Colorado. Jay was playing keyboards with Glenn at a charity concert in Aspen on that fateful night when Don Henley showed up to sing a few songs, after which they decided to get back together. Jay went on to play a key part in the behind-the-scenes production for Eagles reunion. Jay and producer Elliot Schiener handled most of the studio production for “Hell Freeze Over” as well as the live recording of “The Millenium Project”.
In the late 1980’s, Jay was asked by producer Elliott Scheiner to fly to a small island in the Carribbean called St. Barts, and spend 2 weeks writing with Jimmy Buffett, at which point Jay’s response was, “Jimmy who?”
“I had no idea who Jimmy Buffett was, except that my good friend Elliott simply said, ”trust me”. I shared an adjoining room with this guy in St. Barts, and every morning we would fire up the DX7 and the RX11 drum machine, (that was high-tech for the island). We would write for a few hours, and then break for a 3 hour lunch on the beach. After an amazing lunch and a nice bottle of french wine, we would go back to the room and sleep for a few hours. I seem to remember we would occasionally get in another hour or two of writing, before breaking for dinner - at another fabulous french cafe - probably somehwere on top of a mountain underneath lush palm trees, a balmy moonlit sky overlooking the Carribbean, with couches, a bar and a swimming pool. It wasn’t until we played an impromptu concert that I quickly realized this guy was huge. He had captivated the entire audience, which was basically the entire island who had gathered around this outdoor cafe to hear the world’s greatest storyteller. Who knew?”
One of India’s most prolific composers, and apparently a big fan of Mr. Oliver’s, Sandeep Chowta invited Jay to play on his jazz record, which led to
At heart, Jay has always been a jazz musician, but his mainstream/pop sensibilities have been well utilized. He spent several years writing, recording, producing and performing as part of Jimmy Buffett’s “Coral Reefer Band, ” and also wrote, recorded, produced and performed with Glenn Frey and The Eagles. Jay has also worked with Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Skaggs, Keith Thomas, Jay Graydon, Chick Corea, Peter Mayer, and many more.
After leaving the DWB in 1999, Jay became very interested in exploring various indengous forms of world music – and put together a world music project with friend and visionary Ricky Gannaway. The project is called “AO” and their exploits resulted in journeys to Indonesia, Ireland and India, and a special invitation to China, where they worked with the exclusive CBC Children’s Choir to create theme music for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing.
In the past few years, Jay has embarked on an exploratory pilgrimage to a land boasting of perhaps the richest of musical cultures: India. There, he was introduced to a paradox of freshly new and traditionally authentic Indian music styles – so powerfully profound that one could say that his life has changed both musically and spiritually. There he worked with Sandeep Chowta - one of India’s most popular and prolific composers, who served as both ambassador and mentor to the cutting-edge Indian scene as well as it’s deep and powerful musical roots.
Currently, Jay is working on a record with Russ Kunkel, a highly-respected and legendary session drummer who is best-known for his work with James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett, and many, many others. Russ Kunkel is one of the most recorded drummers in history, being a part of a countless number of hit records.
|JUST RELEASED SEPT 2011
NEW JAY OLIVER VIDEO!
RARE LIVE PERFORMANCE
JAY OLIVER SOLO PIANO CONCERT
Saturday, Oct 1, in Santa Cruz, CA
MUSIC AS MEDICINE
At the Unity Temple of Santa Cruz - 7:30pm
Hey from Jay:
Hey everyone. Jay Oliver here. You may be happy to know that I've (finally) come out from the laboratory, and have embraced my deepest expression as a solo artist. more >>
NEW - Inspirations Page - now up:
An extensive list of influences. more>>
Music surely carries power beyond that of what we can measure or quantify. In that light, it doesn't have to be sophisticated music.... more>>
A call to producers, investors and
Project launch: A Live show that is rare,
refreshing, healing, and contageous. more >>
Coming Soon ...
Ask anyone who has ever known or worked professionally with Jay and they will tell you this guy is one of the most gifted and respected musicians you could ever hope to meet.
Jay’s innovative new solo piano release proves it, and is a fresh new sound, full of spirit, emotion, dexterity and depth that goes far beyond the norm. It is the best of jazz, but also of pop, blues, soul and folk. Uniquely, it speaks to anyone; musician or not, and of any age or cultural background.
Perhaps what makes Jay so unique, is his extraordinary culmination of influences. As a pianist/keyboardist, his signature is incredibly rich in diversity and style.
Jay's music is - to put it mildly - refreshing and completely "Outside The Box".
Aside from being one of the top pianists & keyboardists in the world, Jay has the distinction of also being a composer, an innovative producer/programmer, and also a top-notch recording engineer.
Jay resides in Los Angeles, where he has worked extensively in music production since 1990 from jazz to jazz fusion to soundtracks to world music projects to session work of all kinds. Also an entreprenuer, Jay is involved in an innovative research project that uses music and audio to help brain development as well as issues of insomnia.
In the Jazz world, Jay has worked with: Dave Weckl, Chick Corea, Micheal Brecker, John Pattitucci, Eric Marianthal, Frank Gambali, Steve Smith, Tom Kennedy, Sandeep Chowta, William Lenihan, Brandon Fields, Steve Tavaglioni, Gary Meek, Lily Hayden, Mindy Abair, and others...
In the Pop/Rock/R&B World, Jay has worked with and/or written songs for: Sheryl Crow, The Eagles/Glenn Frey, Celine Dion, Joe Walsh, Wynona Judd, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Jimmy Buffett, Russ Kunkel, Peter Mayer, Jay Graydon, Keith Thomas, Buzz Feiten, and others...