Jay Beckenstein

Last updated
Jay Beckenstein
JayBeckensteinPerforming.jpg
Beckenstein, Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Florida
Background information
Born (1951-05-14) May 14, 1951 (age 67)
Long Island, New York, U.S.
Genres Smooth jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, producer
Instruments Saxophone
Years active1974–present
Labels Windham Hill
Associated acts Spyro Gyra, Bob James, Dream Theater, Jason Miles, Dave Samuels, Jeremy Wall, Tom Schuman
Website www.jaybeckenstein.com

Jay Beckenstein (born May 14, 1951, New York) is a saxophonist, composer, producer, and co-founder of the band Spyro Gyra. He owned BearTracks Studios in Suffern, New York. [1]

Spyro Gyra American band

Spyro Gyra is an American jazz fusion band that was formed in Buffalo, New York in 1974. The band's music combines jazz, R&B, funk, and pop music. The band's name comes from Spirogyra, a genus of green algae which founder Jay Beckenstein had learned about in college. The band has released over 30 albums and sold over 10 million copies.

BearTracks Recording Studio was a recording studio complex in Suffern, New York, owned by Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra and built in the early 1980s. It was located at 926 Haverstraw Road in Suffern, however, the studio is now closed. It was announced that BearTracks would cease operation shortly after Spyro Gyra recorded their 2006 album Wrapped in a Dream.

Contents

Music career

Jay Beckenstein was born in Long Island, New York to a Jewish family. His mother, Lorraine, was an opera singer and his father, Leonard, loved jazz and 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, New York. He was given his first saxophone at the age of 7. In his senior year of high school, he and his family moved to Germany. He attended and graduated from Nürnberg American High School in 1969. He has said that being Jewish in Germany was positive at the time. However, he has recalled that he once saw an old photo of an elderly neighbor in his SS Nazi uniform while visiting him and he never went back. He received a college degree in music from the University at Buffalo in 1973. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie once played with the college band while Beckenstein was a band member. [2]

Charlie Parker American jazz saxophonist and composer

Charles Parker Jr., also known as Yardbird and Bird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Lester Young American jazz tenor saxophonist and sometime clarinetist

Lester Willis Young, nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist.

Farmingdale, New York Village in New York, United States

The Incorporated Village of Farmingdale is an incorporated village on Long Island within the Town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 8,189 at the 2010 Census.

They soon recruited 16-year-old keyboardist Tom Schuman and recorded their debut album. However, due to lack of funds, the record was going to be their last album until they gave it away and sold 100,000 copies. From there, they got a deal and released their next album in 1979.

Tom Schuman is an American pianist, smooth jazz keyboardist, the co-leader of Spyro Gyra, and an arranger.

In 2000, Beckenstein released his first solo album, Eye Contact, which charted No. 23 on the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums. [3]

Beckenstein 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 .

Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

Dream Theater American progressive metal band

Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to concentrate further on the band that would ultimately become Dream Theater. Though a number of lineup changes followed, the three original members remained together until September 8, 2010, when Portnoy left the band. Mike Mangini was announced as the new permanent drummer on April 29, 2011.

"Another Day" is a song by the American progressive rock band Dream Theater, released in their 1992 album Images and Words. It was released as the album's fourth and final single in 1993.

Beckenstein is divorced and has three children. [2]

Discography

Solo

With Bob James

With Dream Theater

With Jason Miles

With others

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References

  1. Huey, Steve. "Jay Beckenstein | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  2. 1 2 Wang, K. S. (October 27, 2005). "Smooth moves gave Spyro Gyra a future". ocregister.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  3. "Top Jazz Albums". billboard.com. May 27, 2000. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  4. "Jay Beckenstein | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2016.