Andy Bey

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Andy Bey
Birth nameAndrew W. Bey
Born (1939-10-28) October 28, 1939 (age 79)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1964–present
LabelsPrestige, Atlantic, Columbia, Evidence, Savoy Jazz, HighNote
Associated actsLouis Jordan, Salome Bey

Andrew W. Bey (born October 28, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American jazz singer and pianist. Bey has a wide vocal range, with a four-octave baritone voice.

He worked on the 1959/1960 television show Startime with Connie Francis, and sang for Louis Jordan. At age 17, he formed a trio with his siblings Salome Bey and Geraldine Bey (de Haas) called Andy and the Bey Sisters. The trio went on a 16-month tour of Europe. The jazz trumpeter Chet Baker 1988 documentary Let's Get Lost includes footage of Bey and his sisters delighting a Parisian audience. The trio recorded three albums (one for RCA Victor in 1961 and two for Prestige in 1964 and 1965) before breaking up in 1967. Bey also worked with Horace Silver and Gary Bartz.

In 1973, Bey and Dee Dee Bridgewater were the featured vocalists on Stanley Clarke's album Children of Forever. Later, Bey recorded the album Experience and Judgment (1974), which was influenced by Indian music.[1] He then returned to hard bop, and recorded covers of music by non-jazz musicians, such as Nick Drake.[2]

In 1976, Bey performed in a theatre production of Adrienne Kennedy's A Rat's Mass directed by Cecil Taylor at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in the East Village of Manhattan. Musicians Rashid Bakr, Jimmy Lyons, Karen Borca, David S. Ware, and Raphe Malik also performed in the production. Taylor's production combined the original script with a chorus of orchestrated voices used as instruments.[3]

Bey's other albums include Ballads, Blues & Bey (1996), Tuesdays in Chinatown (2001), American Song (2004) and Ain't Necessarily So (2007). He received the "2003 Jazz Vocalist of the Year" award by the Jazz Journalists Association. His album American Song received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2005.

Bey is openly gay.[4] In 1994, he was diagnosed as HIV-positive, but has continued his career, maintaining a lifestyle that includes yoga and a vegetarian diet.[5] Producer Herb Jordan supported Bey in the resurgence of his recording career, and their 1996 recording Ballads, Blues & Bey returned Bey to prominence.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2003: Jazz Vocalist of the Year, Jazz Journalists Association
  • 2005: Grammy nomination, Best Jazz Vocal Album for American Song
  • 2014: NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, Best Vocal Album for Pages from an Imaginary Life


Solo albums
With Andy and the Bey Sisters
With Gary Bartz NTU Troop
With Stanley Clarke
With Gerry Eastman
  • 1995: Songbook (Williamsburgh Music Center, Inc.)
With Howard McGhee Orchestra
  • 1966: Cookin' Time (Zim Records)
With Bob Malach
  • 1995: The Searcher (Go Jazz)
With Grachan Moncur III
With Mtume Umoja Ensemble
  • 1972: Alkebu-Lan: Land of the Blacks (Live at the East)
With Duke Pearson

With Max Roach

With Horace Silver


  1. ^ "Biography: Andy Bey". Down Beat. Archived from the original on 2011-07-09. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  2. ^ Andy Bey biography at AllMusic.
  3. ^ La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Rat's Mass, A (1976)". Accessed August 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Bey, Andy (February 3, 2004). "News and Notes". NPR (Interview: transcript). Interviewed by Tony Cox. Retrieved March 29, 2011. [Y]ou have spoken publicly about being HIV positive and gay.
  5. ^ Adler, David R. (May 2004). "Jazz Departments: Andy Bey". JazzTimes. Retrieved March 29, 2011.

External links[edit]