Department: Music and Theatre Arts
Office: Woods Theatre
Jay Sweet attended Berklee College of Music and studied Bass Performance and Composition with several fine instructors including Whit Browne (bassist with Dizzy Gillespie, and Oscar Peterson) and John Lockwood (bassist with Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard). After receiving his degree from Berklee, Sweet continued his education by attending Rutgers-Newark University where he received his Masters in Jazz History and Research. During his time as a Rutgers student he was awarded the Benny Carter Jazz Research Award for his extensive research on bassist Ray Brown. As part of this project, Sweet interviewed legendary jazz figures such as Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Phil Woods, Ed Thigpen, James Moody, Christian McBride and many others.
As an educator Jay Sweet has taught Music Theory, Jazz History, Classical Music History, History of Rock, and Private Instruction at Rutgers-Newark University and Middlesex County College. He has also published several articles, and reviews for Oxford University Press, the Annual Jazz Review and Hal Leonard Publications. After working for several private music schools, Jay Sweet founded Sweet Music Academy in 2004 in Howell, NJ. He later opened two additional locations in New Egypt and Brick, NJ. His award winning studios and staff have trained more than 2,500 music students. Many of his students have enjoyed successful careers in music.
As a bassist Jay Sweet has performed in nearly every venue including concert halls, jazz clubs, theaters, cruise ships, recording studios, television, and radio. He has been featured on numerous recordings and shared the stage with several famed musicians including Ted Curson (Blue Note Recording Artist), Vitali Imereli (violin virtuoso) and Ed Jurdi (Band of Heathens). Sweet also released three acclaimed albums as a leader and has written music for television and film. Currently Jay Sweet works frequently as a freelance bassist, as a member of the Platinum Band, and as a solo guitarist. He is also proficient on the mandolin, banjo, and ukulele.