When Mike and Houston needed to find a horn player, Nir Z brought Jay into the project. A veteran of sessions at Nir's own studio in Brooklyn as well as countless high-profile gigs in a variety of genres, Jay brings a keen sense of ensemble playing and deep passion to the music. His layered horns and flutes add sweet and sonorous elements to Your Steps Alone and Nightfall.
Jay Rodriguez began his musical studies at the age of seven on clarinet and was playing lead alto with the great Tito Puente by the age of fifteen. He graduated with the highest honors from New York City’s renowned High School for the Performing Arts (as featured in the film Fame). He went on to continue his studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the New School.
Jay has been nominated twice for a Grammy under the best jazz solo category. But his work spans many areas of focus; among many others Jay has performed or recorded with Miles Davis, Widespread Panic, Prince, and NYC downtown peers Medeski, Martin and Wood. He performs over 200 shows a year.
Jay is the musical director/founding member of New York City's celebrated Groove Collective. In recent years, the band has opened for and jammed with James Brown, backed Tupac Shakur (voted #2 all time live Hip Hop performance on MTV), and shared the stage with Isaac Hayes, Erykah Badu, The Roots and BB King among others. Groove Collective has worked with trombonist Fred Wesley and P-Funk Co-founder Bernie Worrell.