Jay Azzolina (born December 23, 1952) is a jazz-fusion style guitarist primarily known for his work with the Grammy-winning group Spyro Gyra. He has also performed and recorded with artists including Carly Simon, Donna Summer, The Manhattan Transfer, Herbie Mann, Rickie Lee Jones and Chuck Mangione.
Azzolina began his musical life playing trumpet and piano. At the age of eleven, he chose a guitar from his father’s music store and switched his attentions to that instrument. After high school, he spent a year studying classical guitar before attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying under noted players including Pat Metheny. He released his first CD, Never Too Late, in 1989.
In 1995, Azzolina received his M.F.A. degree from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase, NY; he soon began teaching there as well.
In 1997, Jay became a member of the John Patitucci Band where he was able to explore acoustic jazz music. He appeared on the group’s 2000 release, Past Tense (Doubletime Records). along with several other original CD projects including Live At One Station Plaza (2002) and The Rolling Stones Project (2005).
Azzolina released a new solo project, Local Dialect on the Garagista Music label in 2007.
- 1989 Never Too Late
- 2000 Past Tense (Double-Time Records) featuring Chris Potter, John Pattituci, Charles Blenzig, Adam Nussbaum, Jill Azzolina, Julie Eisenberg
- 2002 Live At One Station Plaza w/Adam Nussbaum, Gary Versace
- 2005 The Rolling Stones Project
- 2007 Local Dialect featuring Tim Ries, Larry Golding, John Pattituci, Greg Hutchinson, Cyro Baptista, Scott Wendholt, Mike Davis, Charles Blenzig (Garagista Music)