Jay Danley Bio
Jay Danley learned his first guitar chords from his father at the age of five. His early formal training came from taking private drum lessons from a number of Toronto’s most distinguished drummers, most notably two years with master drummer Dan Bodanis.
Jay’s teen years were spent in various bands that traveled Ontario and parts of Canada and the U.S.
Since that time, Jay’s musical interests have taken him in many different directions.
In 1993 Jay was a founding member of the music/theater improvisation group The Subtonic Monks. The group consisted of an eclectic group of musicians and artists that relied on instinct and communication. This group performed at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal and made several appearances on the CBC.
In 1993 Jay was also hired as the rhythm guitarist for the group Showtime who perform hits from the swing era, where Jay began his deep love for jazz. Showtime has recorded four albums, appeared at Roy Thompson Hall, performed concerts with the world famous vocal group The Four Freshman, been joined by such jazz luminaries as Rick Wilkins, Charlie Mountford, Chase Sanborn and currently performs around Ontario with the legendary Peter Appleyard.
In 1995, Jay was a founding member of Orchesta Klave Y Kongo, a group that specialized in performing the traditional form of Cuban music known as Son Montuno. The band became renowned for their dedication to authenticity, with Jay taking a front and center role playing the “tres”, a type of guitar from Cuba very different from his usual instrument. It was Jay’s abilities on this instrument that led him to play with such musical greats as Jane Bunnett, including a 2001 performance on CBC television for the Gemini Awards show, performing with her at the Ottawa Tulip festival and at Hugh’s Room in Toronto.
Jay has also recorded two records with piano maestro Hilario Duran, one of which was nominated for a 2003 Juno award, and has performed with him on several occasions as a regular member of his group “Havana Remembered”.
Latin music has been a very big part of Jay’s life. In 2005 he shared the stage with salsa legend Oscar D’Leon at Massey Hall, and has performed with members of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club, including the late Compay Segundo and Jay’s musical idol, Eliades Ochoa. One of Jay’s personal hi-lights was when Eliades passed him his guitar to play on stage in 1998.
He has also played with members of Cuban bands Sierra Maestra, Los Van Van, and The Afro-Cuban All-Stars. In 1999, Jay was an original member of the band Son Ache, who performed at the 2002 Beaches Jazz Festival. Son Ache had the honor of opening for Oscar D’Leon, where Oscar asked Jay to come on stage and play a song, and after which repeatedly called him back on.
In 2004 Jay was a founding member of the traditional jazz group The Hogtown Syncopators. With some of the best local jazz musicians in their lineup, including Drew Jureka (violin), Richard Whiteman (piano), and Terra Hazelton (vocals), this group has recorded an album and holds a weekly residency at The Rex hotel in Toronto.
In 2009 Jay appeared on the Juno winning (blues album of the year) “Ramblin' Son” with Julian Fauth.
Jay's latest creation is the Jay Danley Ethiojazz Project.
Jay continues to play in several distinguished jazz and latin bands and currently resides in Toronto.