Jay D’Amico has had a multi-faceted career as a jazz pianist, composer and arranger. He has toured throughout the United States and Europe, and his unique interpretations of standard and original musical fare have earned him a loyal following at elite establishments world wide.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on August 23, 1953, Jay grew up in a family of musicians. His mother was a gifted singer who gave all of her children an appreciation for opera, jazz and other great musical genres. Jay began to play piano at the age of eight, and then went on to major in classical piano at City University of New York. He counts legendary jazz bassist Milt Hinton as one of he greatest mentors and friends. In addition to performing and recording with Mr. Hinton on numerous occasions, he was honored to teach workshops with him at Hunter College and Baruch College. Jazz pianist and teacher Mike Longo was another of Jay’s mentors; he, too, would become a friend who included Jay as a colleague on many musical projects.
D’Amicos’s musical style is, in the tradition of all true jazz musicians, highly individualistic. His work is marked by a distinctive synthesis of classical influences including the work of his boyhood idol, Chopin, the 15th and 16th century Italian bel canto arias his mother taught him to love, great jazz standards and, most importantly, his own inimitable artistry. The result was perhaps best summed up by radio and television personality Joe Franklin: “Simply marvelous…!”
If there is any one word that would describe the music of Jay D’Amico it would be “originality.” I recall reading a book by Igor Stravinsky many years ago in which he stated that if there was any “gift” in music, it would be the gift of melody. Jay, with his ability to successfully fuse classical music thinking and the time conception and influence of jazz, displays evidence that he is in possession of this gift and has crafted it into a musical statement of the highest order. BRAVO!