New York-based Saxophonist Jay Brandford has publicly endorsed Justice for Jazz Artists and our push for pension contributions, fair pay and protection of recording rights for jazz musicians in New York City and surrounding areas. This makes yet another in a constant stream of prestigious artists taking up the cause’s mantle.
Mr. Branford has had a successful, varied and busy career as a performer and educator, currently performing in New York and around the world with Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet, David Berger’s Sultans of Swing, Jerry Dodgion’s Joy of Sax, the Dave Liebman Big Band, and Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra directed by David Baker.
Originally from the West Coast, from the mid-1980s until 1991 Jay Brandford was active as a creative musician in the Boston area, playing in bands led by Ken Schaphorst, Rob Schepps, Andy Baer, and others. He co-led a quartet with drummer Bob Savine and worked at many local jazz clubs with the Jay Brandford Septet. His arrangements and compositions were performed and/or recorded by Ken Hadley, Craig Ball, Gene DiStasio, Rebecca Paris and others. In 1991 Jay moved to New York City and earned a Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music. Throughout his educational and professional career he has studied with artists like Dick Oatts, David Berger, Garry Dial, John Purcell and Jerry Bergonzi.
In 1994 Jay was hired by Mercer Ellington to play baritone saxophone with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. After Mercer’s passing in 1996, Jay stayed on until 1998 while the band was led by trumpeter Barrie Lee Hall. Jay was also a member of the Jon Hendricks ‘Explosion’ band from 1994 to 1996. He has performed with other artists including Jerome Richardson, Britt Woodman, Ben Riley, and fellow Justice for Jazz Artists supporters Jerry Dodgion and Ron Carter. Mr. Brandford lives in Westchester County with his wife Loryn Altsher, a music therapist, and their two children.