While Jay’s favorite music is the blues, he is not limited to just one
genre. He also plays jazz, funk, rock and pop. Jay’s main influences on
harmonica are James Cotton,
Little Walter, Dennis Grueling,
Paul Butterfield, Chris Michalek,
Sonny Boy Williamson,
Kim Wilson, and
Junior Wells. However, Jay does not
only listen to harmonica players, but also draws influences from an
array of musicians as diverse as Jimi
Hendrix, John Coltrane, and Donny Hathaway.
Jay has shared the stage with Dan Aykroyd,
Honeyboy Edwards, the
James Cotton Blues Band,
Tab Benoit, Kenny Brown, Keith Sykes,
Jason Ricci & New Blood, Bob Margolin,
Dave Fields, Rich DelGrosso, Eric McFadden,
Zac Harmon, Jimmy Hall, Mark Hummel,
Jon Paris, Rob Paparozzi, Michael Powers, Richie Canata, Victor
Wainwright, Davis Coen, Treasa Lavasseur
and Mike Zito.
In addition to performing at B.B. King’s
Clubs in New York and Memphis, Terra Blues and The Cutting Room in NYC,
Jay has also gigged at Ground Zero Blues Club, Rum Boogie and New Daisy
in Memphis, and Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco. Festival performances
include The Greeley Blues Fest (2008 & 2009) and Blues from the Top
(2008 & 2009) in CO as well as the Cape May Jazz Festival (2009) in NJ.
In December 2009 he undertook his first European dates performing with
Knut Reiersrud and The Alabama Lovesnakes in Oslo, Norway.
Gaunt has studied with Dennis Gruenling, David Barrett, Jason Ricci,
Chris Michalek, Adam Gussow, Mark Hummel, Jon Paris and Michael Peloquin.
He is presently studying music composition with Dr. Pedro Da Silva of
He is a regular attendee and performer at the
annual SPAH conventions and is featured in the spring 2010 issue of
Harmonica Happenings. A recent interview with Jay is posted at