Geils performing in concert
|Birth name||John Warren Geils Jr.|
|Also known as||John Geils|
February 20, 1946 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, blues, jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter, producer|
|Labels||Atlantic, EMI America, Rounder, Arbors|
|Associated acts||The J. Geils Band, Bluestime, New Guitar Summit, Kings of Strings|
Born in New York City, Geils grew up in Far Hills, New Jersey. Geils's father, John Geils, Sr., was an engineer at Bell Labs and a jazz fan. From an early age in the late 1940s, the younger Geils heard jazz from his father's record collection, including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. When he was 12, he was escorted by his father to a Louis Armstrong concert. Geils played Miles Davis on trumpet and drums and listened to blues guitarists Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters on the radio.
In 1964, he went to Northeastern University and played trumpet marching band. Attracted to folk musicians in Boston, he left Northeastern for Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he studied mechanical engineering. At Worcester he met musicians Danny Klein and Magic Dick Salwitz, and they formed a folk group called the J. Geils Blues Band. Peter Wolf and Stephen Jo Bladd, both from the Hallucinations, joined and Seth Justman followed before the band released its debut album in 1970.
In 1992, Geils and Magic Dick formed the band Bluestime. Geils also played in the New Guitar Summit with Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin and in the acoustic trio Kings of Strings with Beaudoin and Jerry Miller. He released his first solo album, a jazz album, in 2005.
In addition to passing on an interest in jazz, Geils's father took his son to auto races in Pennsylvania in the 1950s. Geils fell in love with Italian sports cars. He drove in five races a year during the early 1980s, at the peak of the J. Geils Band's popularity (Freeze Frame was a number one album).
He opened KTR Motorsports, an automobile restoration shop in Carlisle, Massachusetts, to service and repair vintage sports cars such as Ferrari and Maserati. He sold the shop in 1996, though he continued to use the shop and participate in the company.
- Jay Geils Plays Jazz! (Stony Plain, 2005)
- Toe Tappin' Jazz (North Star, 2009)
- Jay Geils, Gerry Beaudoin and the Kings of Strings, featuring Aaron Weinstein (Arbors)
- Bluestime (Rounder, 1994)
- Little Car Blues (Rounder, 1996)
As New Guitar Summit
- New Guitar Summit (2004)
- Guitar Summit: Live at the Stoneham Theatre (2004)
- Ware, Susan (October 21, 2004). "Fame still calls J. Geils". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Berg, Phil (12 July 2012). "Rocker Jay Geils' passions for cars, music handed down from his dad: Ferrari, Maserati among his collection". Autoweek. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Viglione, Joe. "J. Geils | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Marotta, Michael (November 29, 2009). "Mass. to celebrate Jay Geils Day". The Boston Herald. p. 36.
- "J. Geils | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 January 2017.