DRUMMER / COMPOSER / IMPROVISER / MULTIMEDIA ARTIST
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Jay Frederick is a New York City-based artist whose work includes multiple mediums. Having impressed musicians and critics alike with his highly personal approach to the drumset as a powerful yet uncommonly delicate and sensitive instrument, Frederick's aesthetic has expanded to include photography, film, electro-acoustic soundscapes, as well as popular and rock songcraft. Inspired and connected to visual arts, Frederick follows a unique path in creating compositional works.
In the mid 90´s Frederick attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he majored in music theory and composition (with a concentration in music technology) and philosophy (with a concentration in Value Theory). While in school, he began performing regularly with bassist Cleve Eaton (of the Count Basie Orchestra and Ramsey Lewis Trio). After several years with Eaton, Frederick became a member of the Ken Watters Group performing modern acoustic jazz at clubs and festivals throughout the US. With this ensemble, he has recorded three critically acclaimed albums entitled Brothers II, Southern Exposure and Brothers III. All three CD´s were released internationally on Summit Records and made the US mainstream jazz charts. In 2003, Frederick enrolled in William Paterson University´s renowned Jazz Studies program. The following year, he moved to Manhattan and in 2005, received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Performance. During this time, Frederick worked with a wide range of consummate musicians in the jazz world including Benny Golson, Frank Wess, Ernie Watts, James Spaulding, Dave Binney, Barry Harris, James Williams, Eric Reed, Milt Hinton, Cleve Eaton, Rodney Whittaker, and Delfayeo Marsalis, among others.
In 2004, Frederick began to focus on capturing sound and image. As a result, he formed the COMMUNICATIONS CONSPIRACY, a jazz/new music multimedia performance group that focuses on creating audiovisual events. With this group, Frederick presents his work as a composer, drummer, photographer, avant-garde small-gauge filmmaker, and digital sound artist. By creating electroacoustic soundscapes mediated by an array of portable electronics and combining avant-garde cinema with jazz/new music performance, the result is a multimedia audiovisual experience realized through a marriage of new and vintage technologies.
Frederick also works with many pop/rock singer-songwriters. In this context his playing typically melds deceptively simple grooves with a casual, loose feel that is executed with precision. He has performed on national and international tours with New York singer/songwriter Diane Birch as well as several television performances including The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. He has performed and recorded for artists such as Edie Brickell, DJ Logic, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Reverend Jeff Mosier, the Reverend John Delore, Putnam Murdock, Dave Cieri, Steve Lewis, Kara Suzanne, King Wilkie, Yarn, The Kings County Caravan and countless others.
Frederick has performed live broadcasts on various television and radio shows all across the US including NPR´s popular talk show Whad´ Ya Know hosted by Michael Feldman, NPR’s Mountain Stage, and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
Frederick has also written music for film, the most recent of which was debuted as part of Robert B. Lisek´s (artist, mathematician and founder of Fundamental Research Lab) FLOAT installation--an on-line community channel providing "experimental space" and a variety of user tools. The work was presented at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center in New York City.
Most recently, Frederick has recorded music for the Ken Burn's documentaries Prohibition and The Roosevelts, as well as music for NBC Sports.