(Organ Odyssey, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir)
Originally an educated recording arts major turned rock n roll roadie, I am no stranger to the music scene. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, music was my passion, and band production was already in my wheel house. I developed my musical style from the golden years of rock n roll touring with such artists as the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, Page and Plant, U2, Paul McCartney, and more!
While on tour with the Grateful Dead I found a new passion for the Hammond organ. That mighty jazz organ sound! As I traveled, I collected jazz organ recordings worldwide. What was the next step? I bought a 1963 Hammond A-102 in the early 90s. Soon I started playing and writing original songs.
I joined “Sing Napa Valley”, a local choir in Napa, singing in such great productions as "Carmina Burana" and Handel’s “Messiah”. This allowed me to really start developing my voice. During this time I also worked on developing my melting pot - jam - groove style, incorporating a large multi vocalist sound. A video of a choir with a Hammond organ drew my eye and soon after I joined the semiprofessional "Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir". This life changing experience singing with symphonies, rock stars, and or in the black church communities has allowed me to take my vocals and style to a whole new level. #grateful
All of these sounds, grooves, styles, and life experiences musically and personally make me who I am today. Come see the musical melting pot, come enjoy the musical odyssey!
GUITARI | VOCALS
(Lovin' Dead, Like A Rose)
Jay is a musician who is deadicated to searching for the sound, uncovering notes and rhythms akin to the shared time and space. A vocalist and guitar player for bands; Like a Rose, Lovin Dead, Organ Odyssey, and The Super Secret Band Project. Jay also freelances live shows and studio sessions, and gives music lessons on occasion as well. You can see Jay perform in the San Fransico Bay Area.
Jay is primarily influenced by and focused on, the music of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.
(Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir)
Growing up as a Chinese immigrant in Oakland, CA, my musical influences came from my parents, friends, and the community. It included 50’s pop music & barbershop quartets, the Beatles, 80’s Hong Kong pop music, Cantonese opera, and musical movies of the 60’s. Like a good Chinese kid, I also took piano lessons. When I was old enough to choose my own music, I listened to 90’s hip hop and R&B on my favorite radio station, which also played Motown tunes and other Oldies on Sunday nights. As an adult, I took a month to learn to properly sing “Habanera” from the opera Carmen for a talent show. While I didn’t place (I got bumped to 4th place by a fraction of a point!), the experience helped me appreciate classical music and the technical skill it takes sing opera.
Singing came easily to me, and I always seemed to be able to hear the harmonies that gave me goosebumps. This naturally led me to joining school and church choirs from elementary to high school. In college, I joined a gospel choir, which took me to sing at my first Black church, and ultimately joining the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC) in 2005 where I now continue to belt out in solid alto-tude. My work with OIGC has taken me all around the world singing and soloing on stages such as the Paramount Theatre, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Montreux Jazz Festival, and more. Highlights include singing in a trio behind Sheléa at Davies Symphony Hall, as part of the official choir of Superbowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, the national anthem for MLB and NBA teams, in the Barry Manilow choir at SAP Center in San Jose, and with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem at SF Outside Lands where I debuted a muppet I made of our choir director, Terrance Kelly. Through connections and referrals via the choir, I have also lent my voice to countless recordings as a session singer.
All in all, I prefer singing in an ensemble to singing lead. The challenge of finding my place in a chord or creating a counter melody or harmony with other voices excites me like spreading butter on a thick slick of warm crunchy artisan toast! Yummm…
Music has been a driving force and passion in my life for as long as I can remember. Over the past few decades drumming in many bands in the North Bay, I’ve come to be a seeker of the thrill that the energy of band and audience can create together. Music is magic. Healing magic. Whether playing to the song or going all out into improvisational space, I can’t get enough magic. “Shall we go, You and I, While we can” into a space and time of musical magic?