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Steve Jay before performing at a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert in 2007
January 26, 1951 |
Jay was born in Florida. He auditioned for Yankovic after answering an ad in the newspaper, and the two have worked together ever since.[when?] Jay can be heard or seen on all of Yankovic's albums, videos, and concerts.
He is also the founder of the ethno-funk duo Ak & Zuie, with Pete Gallagher. He has scored more than fifty nationally broadcast PBS specials and series episodes, including three George Foster Peabody Award winners, and contributed to several feature films. He has also done extensive session work, released eight solo records on his own Ayarou label, and produced two albums for the WEA Nonesuch Explorer series.
Jay's background includes a BA and MM Graduate Fellowship in composition from the University of South Florida in 1972. After completing his studies, he went to Niger and spent two and half years studying drumming. Selections from his archival field recordings of traditional West African ceremonies, dances, and solo performances were made into three albums released by Warner/Nonesuch. Weakened by malaria and intestinal parasites, he eventually returned to the United States.
He relocated to Los Angeles to audition for Frank Zappa, at which he was given a complex piece to sight-read. After Zappa neglected to allow Jay to audition, he auditioned for "Weird Al" Yankovic and has been playing with him ever since.
Nonesuch Explorer Series
- Ghana: Ancient Ceremonies, Songs, and Dance Music
- Dances of the World
- West Africa: Drum, Chant, and Instrumental Music
With Weird Al Yankovic
- "Weird Al" Yankovic
- "Weird Al" Yankovic In 3-D
- Dare to Be Stupid
- Polka Party!
- Even Worse
- UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff
- Off the Deep End
- Bad Hair Day
- Running With Scissors
- Poodle Hat
- Straight Outta Lynwood
- Mandatory Fun
- Sea Never Dry - 1997
- Film Music - 1998 - a collection of 66 short excerpts from his original film and television scores
- Tangled Strings - 1999
- Self Avoiding Random Walk - 2000
- Outer Voice - 2004
- Rounder Gaze - 2004
- Friction - 2004
- Plus - 2004
- Physical Answer - 2008
- Chaos, Clouds and Tongue - 2011
- Things Change – 2013
With Ak & Zuie
- Non-Franciscan Duets
- Deep Forest
- Late In The 20th Century: An Elektra/Nonesuch New Music Sampler
- Originally released in 1976 as Africa: Drum, Chant & Instrumental Music; see West Africa: Drum, Chant & Instrumental Music
- Prior to Tangled Strings, a cassette-only release titled Whatever It Is was made available, containing many of the same songs which were later released on Tangled Strings. When Tangled Strings was released, Whatever It Is was retired.
- Official website
- Steve Jay, What a guy! - fan site
- Stephen Jay entry on Dean Guitars website
- Uncharted Territory from Global Bass Magazine, December 2001
- The theory of Harmonic Rhythm from Bass Inside Magazine, August 2002
- Stephen Jay: Music and other Miracles from Bass Inside Magazine, September 2002
- Stephen Jay: When Reality Just Isn't Enough! from Bass Inside Magazine, May 2003
- Stephen Jay, Bass Player for Weird Al Yankovic, On Playing Live Through Mackie SR1530s from Bass Player Magazine, May 11, 2005