Delta Blues Live Music: Jay Collins Band

“Jazz is a huge part of what I learned about music, but it’s just a small piece of what I do,” says singer-songwriter, saxophonist, flautist, pianist and bandleader Jay Collins. With his Kings County Band, Collins mixes up blues, Afro-Cuban rhythms and classic soul into a modern patchwork of root-bound sound.

One of the most sought-after touring musicians in American music, Jay is perhaps best known for his saxophone and flute work with many artists including Gregg Allman, Allman Brothers Band, Levon Helm (of The Band), Donald Fagen and the Dukes of September (w/ Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs), James Hunter and jazz greats such as the late Andrew Hill, Jacky Terrasson, and the late bassist LeRoy Vinnegar. In recent years, Mr. Collins has also become recognized for his gritty singing and his singular songwriting.

During his time on New York’s Lower East Side, Collins also immersed himself in the rhythmically charged world of Latin music. He spent 1996-2004 leading local sensation Mambo Macoco (with master percussionist Eddie Bobe’), playing with Nuyorican percussionist Bobby Sanabria Y Ascension, and touring Cuba and the Caribbean. “Learning about Afro-Cuban rhythms and their connection to American and New Orleans music are the keys to what I’m doing now,” says Collins.