Jay Gaunt

Jay Gaunt


Jay's music is based in the blues, but he also expands into funk and jazz. He has a wide range, from Muddy Waters to Jimi Hendrix to James Brown to Jason Ricci. His playing and his feel for the music is far beyond his years.


Jay Gaunt began playing blues harmonica just as he turned 12. Inspired by the same blues men who influenced his favorite rock and rollers, Jay began to play along with the music of the Blues Brothers movie. Jay went to see Dan Aykroyd when he was hosting Chick Willis & Dwight Edwards at the Opus Theater in New York (June 2006). Dan called Jay up to sit in on the encore. Soon after, Jay sat in with Sweet Georgia Brown at both the Lenox Lounge in Harlem and in Central Park. It was during these early performances that Jay realized how much he loved to play blues and that he wanted to study blues music and harmonica.

Jay’s passion for the blues fuels him to listen to blues music, learn blues history and play blues harmonica – constantly! While Jay’s favorite music is the blues and he feels most comfortable playing it, he is not limited to just one genre. He is also interested in playing jazz, funk, and rock.

Jay is influenced most by Chicago legends -- James Cotton, Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Junior Wells, George Harmonica Smith, and Howlin’ Wolf.

He is also greatly influenced by modern harp players -- Jason Ricci, Jon Paris, Dennis Gruenling, Kim Wilson, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, Chris Michalek, William Clarke, Mark Hummel, Michael Peloquin and more.

Jay met his first harmonica teacher Jon Paris when he sat in with him at Lucille’s Lounge at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Times Square in NYC. He began studying with Jon on both blues harmonica and blues guitar. In addition to weekly lessons with Jon Paris and Dennis Gruenling, Jay has also studied with: David Barrett, Jason Ricci, Chris Michalek, Adam Gussow, Mark Hummel, and Michael Peloquin.

Jay has shared the stage with, among others, the James Cotton Blues Band, Jon Paris, Jason Ricci and New Blood, Bob Margolin, Eric McFadden, Mark Hummel, The Hudson River Rats, Michael Powers, Richie Canata, and LD Miller.

He has played at such venues as BB King’s in both New York and in Memphis, Terra Blues, Ground Zero Blues Club, Biscuits and Blues, The Cutting Room. He has also played The Greeley Blues Fest (2008), and Blues from the Top, (2008) in Colorado. He will play both Blues Fests again in 2009.

In the spring of 2008 Jay recorded Blown Away with producer and musician Ed Ivey in San Francisco. The CD was released on November 23rd, 2008.

In addition to studying blues harmonica and guitar, Jay is also learning bass, saxophone and piano. Residing in New Jersey, Jay is an honor student who plays basketball and is VP of his class.


1. Jay’s Jam 2:52
2. Queen Of TheTenderloin 3:57
3. Sad Hours 4:00
4. Big Boss Man 3:51
5. Sixth & Market 2:33
6. Deep fried Turkey Blues 4:52
7. Don’t Lose Your Cool 3:13
8. My First Plea 4:07
9. Life Is Hard 6:01
10. Cissy Strut 5:25
11. Big Legged Woman 4:34
12. Don’t Get Me Started 3:58
13. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ 4:11
14. The Thrill Is Gone 6:04

Set List

As a solo artist, Jay most often is a featured guest or sits in with an existing band. He can play almost any set list as his knowledge of the blues is very extensive.