Find a full bio for Jay Collins and all of his projects on, JayCollinsBand.com.
One of the most sought-after touring musicians in American music, Jay Collins is best known for his saxophone and flute work with many artists including Gregg Allman, Allman Brothers Band, Levon Helm, Donald Fagen and the Dukes of September (w/ Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs), James Hunter and jazz greats such as the late Andrew Hill, Jacky Terrasson, and the late bassist LeRoy Vinnegar.
Mr. Collins played on 2 Grammy-winning recordings with Mr. Helm, a platinum-selling DVD with the Allman Brothers Band (Live at the Beacon Theater), and was a featured soloist on Gregg Allman’s recent (2014) spectacular live CD, “Back to Macon, GA” (Rounder).
After cutting his teeth in Portland, Oregon in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Jay Collins made the move to New York City and quickly became a force to be reckoned with. His focus was hard-hitting instrumental jazz, as documented on his first three albums as a leader: Uncommon Threads (Reservoir Music), Reality Tonic (Reservoir Music) and Cross Culture (Blues Leaf). Along the way, Jay gained diversified experience as a sideman with some of New York City’s best including pianists Andrew Hill, Jacky Terrasson, and Afro-Cuban drummer and clinician, Bobby Sanabria, among many others.
“This robust tenor saxophonist is a great example of a player whose varied experiences nurture a deeper musical personality.”- Village Voice, NYC
In time, while remaining dedicated to playing his horns, Jay began to branch out into songwriting and singing. The new touring gig with Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band helped convince Jay to develop his singing voice further, and embrace a direction back towards blues-based rock. It was during this time he solidified his own group, Jay Collins and the Kings County Band.
Jay’s 2010 recording with his own band, “Blues, Rivers, and Other People” featured Levon Helm on drums, Donald Fagen on piano, Scott Sharrard (Jay’s bandmate from the Gregg Allman group) on guitar, and Larry Campbell on mandolin, among many others….
“With a surprisingly gruff voice, he delivers his rollicking original tunes that blend the down-and-out sensibility of Tom Waits with the barrelhouse American roots sound of The Band.” -San Francisco Chronicle/Contra Costa Times (CA)
His newest group, Jay Collins and the Northern Resistance, is composed of the finest young rock and roll players in upstate NY. Their new release, “The John Brown EP”, was released in the fall of 2016. The EP finds Collins singing and playing at the top of his game with 5 new songs—short and straight to the point, including his ambitious and historical telling, “John Brown”.