The Jazz Series has been an ongoing series of Jay’s for the past 14 years. It began when Jay’s brother, Andrew commissioned him to paint a piece of a jazz musician. Andrew was unsure of what he wanted, he was only to tell Jay, ”I want something big, dark and jazzy.” Jay found a picture of Lester Young and Miles Davis on stage together and used that image as his subject matter. Jay was able to quickly finish the portrait part of the piece, but found he spent weeks on the background. He experimented by putting in a crowd, lighting, tables and chairs, and going back and forth with what he thought it should look like. While working on the painting he found himself unsatisfied, he simply couldn’t find the right feeling he was looking for. He wanted the piece to encompass everything that he thinks of when he thinks of jazz. He asked a friend of his to take a look at it and see what he thought. His friend told Jay that he should go minimal and paint the whole thing black, including Miles Davis just leaving it a portrait of Lester Young. So he did, finding that dark smoky feeling that IS jazz that he was in search for during the entire process.
The Jazz series is bright broad brush strokes of primary colors thrown together and mixed on the canvas to bring life to old black and white photos of famous jazz musicians. The series consists of nearly 50 paintings and growing every year. Jay’s jazz series has been displayed all over Seattle at the TK Artist Lofts, 619 Western Ave Artist Lofts, The Gold Shoe Gallery and Lounge, Lucid Lounge and many others. In 2011 Jay showcased his Jazz Series at the Midwest Museum of American Art. The museum now has two pieces in their permanent collection. This series of work has always been a favorite of Jay’s and will continue to grow as long as he is capable to paint.