Born in Grand Rapids, MI, Jay Sawyer is one of the most in-demand rising star drummers in New York City. He has shared the stage with artists such as Freddy Cole, John McNeil, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stefon Harris, Donny McCaslin, Benito Gonzalez, and Shai Maestro among others. Jay is also a first call drummer for many up-and-coming musicians in New York including Itamar Borochov, Caroline Davis, Tomoko Omura, John Raymond and many more. He has toured extensively in the USA and Europe, including performances at the Montreal, Detroit and Chicago Jazz Festivals, Festival Eclats d’Email in Limoges, France and more.
While attending Western Michigan University and the University of Illinois, respectively, Jay studied with some of the most well-respected jazz drummers including Billy Hart, Tim Froncek, Keith Hall and Dana Hall. Each nurtured his passion and skill for the art of jazz drums. As a result, Jay has become a passionate and gifted educator, both as a private lesson teacher as well as in a group setting.