Hailing from Rock Hill, South Carolina, Double Bassist, Jay Sanford is a regular on the traditional and gypsy jazz scene in New York City. Down south, his interest in music flourished at a young age. By 14 he was playing gigs in local bars on electric bass.
Jay attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities to focus on the electric bass. Following a meeting with Todd Coolman his senior year, he slanted more toward the double bass and continued on the double bass through his attendance at SUNY Purchase. At Purchase, he studied with Todd Coolman (James Moody, Ahmad Jamal), Doug Weiss (Al Foster, Brian Blade), Kermit Driscoll (Bill Frisell), and Pete Malinverni privately. During this period in his education, his jazz interests took to the fore:
In 2009, Jay helped form the Bill Murray Experience, which evolved into Jessy Carolina and The Hot Mess, sparking a continuing self-taught history lesson through early jazz and swing. He followed up by forming Kings County Swing,a gypsy jazz trio with Matthew Avedon and Jordan Hyde. he primarily performs with this 6 piece traditional jazz band and also plays frequently in the gypsy-jazz groups. Once a month, he and guitarist Jordan Hyde comprise a resident duo for burlesque shows at Beauty Bar in Brooklyn -- where they back up the city’s best burlesque performers. With The Hot Mess, he performed for the HAI Foundation as well as The Jazz Foundation of America.
Notably, Jay has performed with legendary New Orleans clarinetist, Dr. Michael White, Vanguard Band saxophonist, Ralph LaLama, Vinny Raniolo, and Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock, both Frank Zappa alumni. He has also been featured with The Bill Murray Experience on primetime television in: The Simpson's 20th Anniversary 3D On Ice! He has toured up and down the east coast and to Ashdod, Israel for the 2012 Ashdod Super Jazz Festival.
Also being called upon for free-lance work, he has composed and arranged music for in house corporate videos for companies such as Pfizer. In addition to this, he lent his critiques to "Blu-ray Definition", now "Theater Byte", reviewing High Defintion audio albums.
Staying true to his early roots in rock he released a lo-fi release “Bump" on Bandcamp in August 2011, under the name Ishingun, writing and performing all of the music.
Currently, he frequently appears at St. Mazie, Hill Country, The Jalopy Theater, and all across Brooklyn and Manhattan. Playing bass and singing you might find him dressed up playing traditional jazz for a Shanghai Mermaid party or in a t-shirt and jeans playing early rock n' roll at Skinny Dennis.
Groups/Musicians Performed with:
The Scandinavian Half Breeds
L.E.S Hot Club/ Joel Beaver Quartet
Sweet Megg and The Wayfairers
Jessy Carolina and The Hot Mess/Bill Murray Experience
Kings County Swing
Mikey Freedom Hart and The Lucky Dogs