Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard’s music has touched the hearts and souls of listeners around the world for forty years. Noted journalist Owen McNally wrote "Jay Hoggard's artistry has a universal quality, an intellectual and emotional resiliency that makes it seem very much at home when creating something new and fresh in every genre from the roots of African music to the outer reaches of the blues ....He is not just one of the premier voices on vibraphone but also one of the top-seeded instrumentalists and composers of the jazz world today."
Jay Hoggard draws on traditional and contemporary musical vocabulary to develop new directions for the vibraphone. Jay 's music is positive, spiritual, uplifting and happy. He seamlessly blends jazz and gospel roots with African marimba rhythms. His performance repertoire represents the three B’s of the jazz tradition (Blues, Bop, Ballads) with original innovations. Songs and extended compositions frame his virtuoso mallet improvisations.
Born in Washington, DC, Jay Hoggard was raised in Mt. Vernon, New York in a religious family.His father was a Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination. At age 15, Jay began playing the vibraphone. "One night I had a dream that I was playing the vibes. I asked my father to rent me a set and from the first moment, I knew that this was what I was supposed to do." Jay majored in the renown World Music program at Wesleyan University . He toured Europe and played at Carnegie Hall during his freshman year. In his junior year, he traveled to Tanzania to study East African marimba music. Jay graduated from Wesleyan in 1976 and returned to New York City in 1977 to be proclaimed a young lion of the vibraphone.
Jay Hoggard has recorded 22 CD’s as a leader and over 50 as a collaborator. For his latest disc, CHRISTMAS VIBES ALL THRU THE YEAR, Jay says"This recording is about the joy, peace, love, and happiness that should traverse the world during the holiday seasons and throughout the whole year. I am a Christian, and this recording is about the reason for the Christmas season: the observance and re-enactment of the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. But this music is also an offering to human beings of all faiths and non- faiths, of the beautiful sounds of which I am blessed to be one of many, many channeling spirits." This trio recording features James Weidman on organ and piano and Bruce Cox on the drums. ….
As a composer, Davis is best known for his operas. X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which played to sold-out houses at its premiere at the New York City Opera in 1986, was the first of a new American genre: opera on a contemporary political subject. The recording of X was released on the Gramavision label in August 1992 and received a Grammy Nomination for "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" in February 1993. Davis's second opera, Under the Double Moon, a science fiction opera with an original libretto by Deborah Atherton, premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 1989. His third opera, Tania, with a libretto by Michael-John LaChiusa and based on the abduction of Patricia Hearst, premiered at the American Music Theater Festival in June 1992. A recording of Tania was released in 2001 on Koch, and in November 2003, Musikwerkstaat Wien presented its European premiere. A fourth opera, Amistad, about a shipboard uprising by slaves and their subsequent trial, premiered at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in November 1997. Set to a libretto by poet Thulani Davis, the librettist of X, Amistad was staged by George C. Wolfe.