(self-release), from NYC

Suggested Single: Track 4, "Miss Mess"

Stream/Download here


“The pandemic feels like one of those endless rainy days that I hated as a child. Boring!!!!!” says Jay Elle. “Back then, on rainy days I couldn’t go out. According to my mom, if I were to get my hair wet I would most certainly catch a cold. Apparently, everyone else’s mother thought so too. There was no one to hang around with on rainy days. At home, I was on lock down with the same old toys. No guitar then. No Internet. This new album is about how to best enjoy yourself while waiting for the sun to shine again.”

Whether he relies on pop, rock, or more intimate voice and guitar arrangements, Jay Elle obviously puts a lot of effort into crafting excellent lyrics with powerful messages. His latest release, the LP “Ride the Wave” focuses on sharing his way to deal with the pandemic. “I think that much of what we do in life is ride one wave after another, as best as we can. Some waves are fun to ride, like recording a new album, and some are tough. Riding a pandemic is no picnic. But what choice do we have? I take life as it comes, and ride the wave. As my friend Jett Harris reminded me, “Surfers are really cool interesting people and their philosophy on surfing is very similar to your analogy of waves and life. The adage “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation” is appropriate as you never know when you’re going to get the opportunity to ride that really great perfect wave, but you hope to be ready to take advantage of it. If not you’ll find sympathy in the dictionary between sh*t and syphilis.”

Music was always part of Jay Elle’s upbringing, especially at family gatherings and celebrations. And at home, the radio was always on.

His best friend from school, Philippe Blin, and a musical cousin both kindled Jay Elle’s musical curiosity when they showed him how to play a few chords on his guitar. But his lifelong obsession with the beauty and power of song accelerated when his aunt bought him a guitar of his own. According to Jay Elle, “I became more interested and dedicated more time to guitar playing and songwriting than other activities. I would get this spine tingling feeling when I heard certain songs, a blast of energy, like I could do just about anything. It felt hopeful and positive.”

The positive energy of music eventually lead Jay Elle to enroll at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, where he studied theory, composition, classical guitar, and singing. But Jay Elle’s heart was more attuned to popular music, and he soon joined a band and was quickly immersed in blues, rock, jazz and pop. “I listened to a lot of guitar heroes,” says Jay Elle. “Between the rigor of rendering a classical piece as it was written, and the open fields of blues or jazz improvisation, I feel that the pop song format is ideal if you can bring some of these elements together to serve a great melody and meaningful lyrics.”

His passion for blues, jazz, and pop lead Jay Elle to relocate to the country where it all began, the United States. Living in New York City opened up a lot of musical opportunities. After meeting singer/songwriter/producer Margaret Dorn (Bette Midler, Boz Scaggs, Judy Collins, Rosanne Cash), Jay Elle was soon playing guitar on her albums and co-writing songs with her. Jay Elle also worked closely with entrepreneur Bill Aucoin, best known for managing Kiss and Billy Idol. In New York, Jay Elle formed a jazz ensemble with composer/guitarist Byron Estep, who is perhaps best known as the executive director of Blue Man Group. Jay Elle’s time in NYC also lead to working with John Dubs (Front 242), who was instrumental in honing his production chops.