Beckenstein at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida
May 14, 1951 |
Brooklyn, New York United States
|Genres||Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion|
Jay B. Beckenstein (born May 14, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York) is a saxophone player, smooth jazz artist and together with Jeremy Wall founded Spyro Gyra. He also owned a studio in New York that was called BearTracks Studios.
He also played the saxophone solo on American progressive metal band Dream Theater's "Another Day", from the album Images and Words and single version of song "Through her Eyes", from the album Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. He also played a solo part in "Take Away My Pain" on the live album Once in a Livetime as well as "Another Day" during the performance of Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York.
Jay's mother was an opera singer and his father's love of jazz introduced him to Charlie Parker and Lester Young when he was a baby. He started playing the piano at age 5 when he moved to Farmingdale, LI. He was given his first saxophone at the age of 7. He received a BA in music from the University at Buffalo in 1973.
Beckenstein plays alto, soprano and tenor saxophone. In the early years of Spyro Gyra he played a Selmer Mark VI alto saxophone, before changing to Yamaha in the 1980s. Until the late 1990s he played a Yamaha YAS-62 alto (Beechler White Diamond S6S mouthpiece and Vandoren No. 3½ reeds) and YSS-62 (Selmer C* mouthpiece) soprano saxophones. However, he subsequently switched to instruments made by LA Sax. His current alto is the "Chicago Jazz" model by LA Sax, fitted with a Beechler White Diamond S6S mouthpiece and Vandoren Traditional No. 3 Reeds. His soprano is a Keilwerth SX90 with a black-nickel finish and gold hardware, fitted with a Selmer C* mouthpiece and Vandoren Traditional No. 3 reeds. His "burnished brass" finish tenor is also made by LA Sax.
Beckenstein is an endorser of Orpheo flutes, clarinets, and saxophones.
With Dream Theater