Jay Elfenbein Bio
Modern and Baroque bass, violone,
basse de violon, viols, Ruby electric gamba , vihuela d’arco, vielle, rebab
The New York Times has described the performances of Jay Elfenbein as “magnificently played” and “played with virtuosity and style.” After 30 years in New York, Washington and Boston playing classical, Baroque and jazz on bass and viola da gamba, Jay spent two years as a gamba and bass soloist with Cirque du Soleil in Macau and four years in France. Returning to the U.S. in 2014, Jay has continued his involvement in all styles of music, with a renewed focus on composition and improvisation.
Jay's compositions have been played across the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, and South America, among them works commissioned by Les Voix Humaines (Montréal); Elliot Z. Levine, baritone of Western Wind Vocal Ensemble (New York); Yukime Kambe Consort (Japan); Bass Instinct Sextet (Vienna). Publishers: Westwood Music, PRB Productions, Brichtmark Music.
Jay’s compositions are informed by the wide range of his performance background: In contemporary music, he has worked with Lou Rawls, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul McCartney, Pat Metheny, Paul Simon, Joe Zawinul, Dave Brubeck, Chris Potter, Jean-Phillipe Viret and Anthony Braxton. On various instruments, he has contributed to more than 40 recordings for Sony Classics, CBS and Virgin, among others.
Jay is the creator of GambaDream, an ensemble of jazz and contemporary improvised music in which he performs on various sizes of viols, including the electric Ruby Gamba. Its well-received CD, GambaDream, features his compositions, as well as standards.
Jay is also founder and director of the Ivory Consort, an ensemble that plays medieval music from Occitan and Andalusia, whose concerts across the U.S. and CDs (“Music in the Land of Three Faiths” and “Troubadours Across the Pyrénées”) received excellent reviews.
"At the Kennedy Center's St Mathew Passion, "the performance of viola-da-gambist Jay Elfenbein demanded special mention for his beautiful accompaniment of "Geduld! Wenn mich falsche Zungen stechen..." --Ionarts, June 2005
Review: Rencontre du troisième type au 38 Riv
[Close encounters of the Third Kind at 38 Riv, Paris]
Sunday, 04 Mai 2014 09:25 | Écrit par Jean-François Mondot
"Plus étrange que la rencontre entre un coq et une pendule, plus incongru que le face à face entre un parapluie et un dé à coudre sur une table de dissection, plus déroutant que le tête à tête entre une ballerine et un sumotori : Mercredi soir, dans la cave du 38 Riv, une contrebasse a dialogué avec une viole de gambe..."
["More strange than the encounter between a rooster and a clock , more incongruous than the meeting of an umbrella and a thimble on a dissecting table, more startling than the face to face of a ballerina and a sumo wrestler..."]
Boston Early Music Festival
Washington Bach Consort
Cirque du Soleil (Macau)
New York Collegium
Early Music New York
Handel & Haydn Society
American Classical Orchestra
Orchestra of St. Luke's
American Microtonal Festival
Kölner Akademie (Cologne)
As a Viola da Gamba Soloist
Bach Passions of St. Matthew
and St. John, among others:
Choral Society de Washington,
au Kennedy Center
New York Collegium,
à Brooklyn Academy of Music
Washington Bach Consort