Biography of Jay Sweet:
With over twenty years of performing experience, Jay Sweet has appeared on television and radio, in concert halls, clubs, cruise ships, festivals, and more. In addition to performing for several celebrities and politicians, he has played with several notable jazz musicians, including Ted Curson (Atlantic Recording Artist), Vitali Imereli (famed violin virtuoso), Bob Ackerman (noted jazz saxophonist), Carrie Jackson (noted jazz vocalist), and Pam Pervis (noted jazz vocalist). Besides his efforts as a bandleader, jazz bassist, and solo guitarist, Sweet is also the owner of Sweet Music Academy in Howell and New Egypt, New Jersey.
Jay Sweet’s professional performing experience began around age 16 when he started working with the original grunge rock band, Neud Groove. The band developed a large local following, won several awards, and recorded two albums. While working at legendary clubs like The Stone Pony, Club Bene, The Surf Club, and Fastlanes, the band opened for national acts like Candlebox and headlined to large audiences. During this time Jay was highly active in his high school’s music program and was selected to All-Shore Band and Regent Orchestra.
Following high school, Jay Sweet attended Berklee College in Boston to study bass and composition with some of the world’s finest instructors, including Whit Brown (bassist with Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson) and John Lockwood (bassist with Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard). During his time at Boston, Sweet recorded his first solo album “The Chase.” The album was played in heavy rotation on College and National Public Radio and featured all original compositions by Sweet. With his band, Sweet played at several local colleges, festivals, and jazz clubs. For nearly five years he performed every Saturday night at Jacob Wirth’s, located in Boston’s theater district. Along with his own musical endeavors, he also performed and recorded with Ed Jurdi. At the time Jurdi had a large New Hampshire following and has since moved to Texas and continues to have a successful musical career. After graduation, Sweet spent several months working as the bandleader onboard the Palm Beach Princess Cruise Line where his trio backed many well known featured acts, as well as various musical stage productions. It was also around this time that Sweet began to teach private lessons at Centre Music in Framingham, Massachusetts.
After spending several years in Boston, Jay decided to further his education as he began to work towards his masters’ degree in Jazz Research and History at Rutgers University. While attended Rutgers, he immersed himself in the New York/ New Jersey jazz scene and began teaching courses at Rutgers. He also published several articles on jazz and music theory, won the Benny Carter Jazz Research Award and continued to teach private lessons. After obtaining his masters’ degree, Sweet returned to the Jersey Shore and began to teach courses in jazz history, classical musical history and rock history at Middlesex County College. He also opened his first teaching facility, Sweet Music Academy in his hometown of Howell, New Jersey. To date, Sweet Music Academy has trained over 3,000 students and has opened an additional location in New Egypt, NJ and Brick, NJ.
While a large portion of his time is spent running his music academy, Jay Sweet continues to perform frequently throughout the tri-state area. For the last ten years he has played solo guitar at Brandl Restauraunt in Belmar and works steadily with the popular Platinum Band (www.platinumbandmusic.com). Be sure to check out his recordings for "The Jay Sweet Trio", "The Pyramid Trio", and "The Chase" at www.jaysweetmusic.com, or on iTunes, Spotify, and CD Baby. Sweet’s passion and love for music is as strong as ever as he continues to dedicate his life to teaching and performing.
Jay also plays on Fridays at Brandl's Restaurant in Belmar, NJ:
Visit www.Brandlrestaurant.com for more information.