Jay Edwards

Host, Jazztones

Jay Edwards is a wizened veteran of Atlanta's Jazz Scene with an unforgettable voice and take on America's indigenous art form.  He spent his formative years as a young man in Harlem where he listened and learned jazz from his Aunt and his cousin.  As a child he babysat Billy Taylor's children at St. Mark's Grammar School. 

Following a college, grad-school and work career that included Fisk University and Tennessee State University, Jay found himself in Atlanta.  Over the last 25 years his voice and his knowledge has imprinted on the minds of jazz fans throughout the city.  He is best known as a host, emcee, lecturer, and a tireless promoter of jazz to students, novices, and aficionados.

Jay has taught Jazz 101 at Georgia Tech, and has conducted pre-concert lectures about jazz artists at the Robert Ferst Center and Master Classes in Jazz at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.

Jay has interviewed many jazz greats and experts including Nancy Wilson, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Eddie Palmieri, David Sanborn, Poncho Sanchez, Obie Jessie, Rufus Reid, Ndugu Chancler, Ted Goia, Nat Hentoff, Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory.

At WCLK Jay Hosts Jazztones, heard each Saturday from 2pm until 6pm, featuring the best in Brazilian and African rhythms that have cross-pollinated jazz from the beginning and provide some of its best current music.  Jay can also be heard during fill-in shifts and co-hosting with Nicole Sweeney during WCLK Membership Campaigns.  He also produced our 80th Birthday Tribute To Freddie Cole in 2011.

Brian McMillen / Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, August 21 at 3:00 p.m. on Jazz Tones on Jazz 91.9 WCLK  I will pay a special tribute to Bobby Hutcherson and his career.  Hutcherson, a Los Angeles native and accomplished vibraphonist, made his transition on August 15.   His career spanned over 50 years and 40 recordings.  Slipping free of the constraints of the  designs of Bebop, Hutcherson adapted his instrument to a freer post-bop language. Bobby played chords with a pair of mallets in each hand.

John Beasley is a pianist, composer and arranger who reintroduces the world to Thelonius Sphere Monk through The MONK'estra, a 15 piece Big Band.  Big Bands have not ceased to exist as a contemporary force, as illustrated by MONK'estra Vol 1, on Mack Avenue Records.  Beasley's band re-imagines Monk's music with off beat melodies, strange beauty and unbounded swing.  Beasley has worked with Miles Davis, Dianne Reeves, Freddie Hubbard and Steely Dan.