Jay Phelps

Trumpeter and Artist, Jay Phelps is a Vancouver-born Canadian with an instantly recognizable warm and projecting tone. He was tutored by the city’s top Jazz and Classical trumpeters and distinguished himself early on as the youngest band-leader in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival’s history.

In 1999 aged 17, Jay moved to London, determined to immerse himself in the jazz scene and immediately attracted the notice of Gary Crosby (Dune records), who offered him work with Jazz Jamaica in 2002 and the opportunity to be a 'Tomorrow’s Warrior'. Citing Louis Armstrong, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown and Miles Davis as his early influences, Jay went on to create and co-lead the UK Jazz sensation Empirical. They spent two years touring major festivals and events with their self titled debut album, while garnering worldwide media attention that UK Jazz musicians hadn't enjoyed for years.

Jay has performed and recorded with a veritable who’s who of international Jazz and famed artists such as; Courtney Pine, Andrew Hill, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Brown, John Hendricks, Nasheet Waits, George Benson, Jamie Cullum, Sir John Dankworth, Jean Toussaint, Dennis Rollins, Guy Barker, Amy Winehouse, Charlotte Church, Hugh Masakela, Jazz Jamaica, Soweto Kinch, Skatroniks, Ska Cubano, Chineke Orchestra.

In 2012, Jay guested with Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra for Marsalis’ epic, 'Congo Square', taking the chair of the master himself as he conducted the band. Later that summer he proceeded to have two sell out nights featuring the Jay Phelps Big Band at the world renowned Ronnie Scott’s jazz venue in London.

Jay expanded his wings into TV where he featured in the band on BBC’s Dancing on The Edge, written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff.

After a successful year of hosting the Late Show at Ronnie Scott's with various bands, Jay moved his night to the Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, where he continued with his signature style.

As well as being a late night host and performer of London's top music venues, Phelps regularly tours nationally and internationally with his own bands (JPQ, Projections:Of Miles, Jay's Jitter Jive). Recently, when not on the road with his own groups, Jay has been touring with two of Brazil's great musical exports, Ed Motta and Banda Black Rio and Afrobeat Master Orlando Julius, American Soul singer Liv Warfield. Also with renowned director Peter Brook's play 'The Suit'.

Jay has also joined forces with producer and Trombonist Courtney Brown to form a new project called 'NBOC', a group pushing the boundaries of hip-hop and modern creative music, due to start releasing from 2016.

Currently Phelps is recording his second solo album ‘Free as the Birds’, which is a departure from the more traditional approach of his first, due for release in 2018.

Although he has called London home for half his life, Jay is now based internationally to expand and immerse himself in the world's musical cultures.

Recent press

"Angel gives an excellent insight into the action - a modern song formation, off the beaten tune-paths and without any adjustment to audience expectations." -  Joerg Schmitt from Sonic Soul Review

Free As The Birds

Release Date: March 23, 2018

Official Digital Cover Art.jpg


All compositions written and arranged by: Jay Phelps Except: 11 (Outkast)

Jay Phelps - Trumpet, Vocals, Producer / Rick Simpson - Piano - 2,3,4,5,8,11 / John Escreet - Piano - 6,9,12,14 / Mark Lewandowski - Bass - 2,3,4,8,11

Russell Hall - Bass - 9 / Barry Stephenson - Bass - 6,12,14 / Shane Forbes - Drums - 5,8,11 / Jon Scott - Drums - 2,3,4

Nasheet Waits - Drums - 6,12,14 / Kyle Poole - Drums - 9 / Rodrigo ‘Pantera’ Rigaud - Percussion - 2,3,14 / Nilson Batata - Percussion - 9,10

Jack Inglesias - Flute, Percussion - 2 / Emilia Martensson - Vocals - 6,14 / Martina DaSilva - Vocals - 2,9 / Cecilia Stalin - Vocals - 7

Luana Soares Harf - Intro Voice - 9 / David Binney - Alto Sax - 6,12,14 / Rachael Cohen - Alto Sax - 9 / Stacy Dillard - Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax - 9

Corey Wilcox - Trombone - 9 / Michela Lerman - Tap - 9 / Raoní Maciel - Composition, Guitar - 7



Neeyz - Production / Chris Benham (Big Orange Sheep Studios) - Mixing, Editing, Mastering / Ben Marc - Post Production - 5

Joe Chiari - Post Vocal Production - 6,9,14 / Bruce Hall - Engineer - 5,8,11 / Danielle White (Raestar Ventures) - Production management



Stephen Paton - Cover Artwork (front) / Elaine Crouch - Cover Artwork (back) / Ian Reis - Cover Photos