A classically trained musician, Jay Webb’s tremendous versatility on the trumpet keeps him in high demand for a wide variety of assignments across the musical spectrum. Equally at home performing with the National Symphony Orchestra, laying down impeccable tracks in a recording studio, or supplying exciting lead trumpet for stars such as Queen Latifah, John Legend, The Roots, Cory Wong, and Grace Potter. Jay is a musician who truly “does it all” on his instrument.
Jay is currently in his tenth year as lead trumpet player and section leader on the national tour of The Midtown Men, a ’60s rock revue featuring the four original stars of Broadway’s Jersey Boys.
A “Jersey Boy” himself, Jay was born in Hamburg, New Jersey. His father played trumpet and led the community band for over 40 years, so he naturally became Jay’s first teacher, introducing him to the trumpet at age 3. Jay demonstrated a natural ability and a keen ear at an early age, able to pick up and play by ear things he heard his father playing without any written music. He joined the school band in the 4th grade and continued to develop his ear and memorize the music throughout his school years. He says he didn’t become adept at sight reading until he reached college!
Jay earned many honors and accolades throughout his high school and college years, placing first in various New Jersey youth ensembles such as County Band, Region Band, All-State Band and Orchestra, All-State Wind Ensemble, and the prestigious Governor's School of The Arts at The College of New Jersey, where Jay later enrolled as a Trumpet Performance major.
It was at The College of New Jersey where Jay met and studied with jazz trumpet professor George Rabbai, a veteran of The Woody Herman Orchestra. Rabbai helped connect Jay with renowned lead trumpet player Roger Ingram, who introduced Jay to the “wedge breath” method of trumpet playing. Soon after his studies with Ingram, Jay transferred to The University of The Arts in Philadelphia to pursue a Jazz Trumpet Performance degree.
In 1999 Jay accepted an offer to join the house band at the Famous Door on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. He performed with the Famous Door house band for over a year — working seven nights a week! After the club closed in 2001, Jay freelanced around NOLA with artists such as Charmaine Neville and various big bands, including those of John Mahoney and Jimmy Maxwell, at iconic jazz spots such as Snug Harbor, The Spotted Cat and the Funky Butt, before deciding to move back to the Philadelphia area.
Today Jay Webb is considered one of the finest studio and live performance trumpet players in the country, as well as a much sought after clinician for trumpet technique and improvisation. He is a first-call sub and frequent featured soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.
When he is not touring, Jay stays busy freelancing around New York City and North Jersey — subbing in the pits of Broadway musicals, performing with the area’s top bands, and playing on a variety of recording projects. He has also built up a large teaching studio in the Tri-State area. Many of his trumpet students have gone on to pursue their musical careers at prestigious institutions such as New York University, Temple University, and Berklee College of Music.
Jay’s latest project is The DST Band, a loving tribute to iconic trumpeter Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra as heard on the classic Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The DST Band recreates some of Doc and the band’s most dynamic performances on big band favorites such as In The Mood, Bugle Call Rag, Stardust, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, and Flying Home.
Jay served as a consultant and beta-tester aiding in the development of the innovative and best-selling Soulo bucket mute and is an endorsing artist for Torpedo Bags, S.E. Shires trumpets, and Best Brass mutes.
Bio edited by Dave Graf