Bay Area Bagpiper Jay Salter
Jay Salter, Bagpiper jaysalter @ cruzio . com 831.818.0906

  • Experienced, full-time musician who has performed for hundreds of wedding ceremonies, receptions, parties, and memorial services.

  • One of a select handful of pipers in the United States who makes his living performing and teaching the pipes.

  • Award-winning competitor in many piping contests.

  • Winner of the Calabash Entertainer of the Year award for Santa Cruz, which acknowledges his work performing and teaching in this ethnic music-rich community.

  • Subject of a UCLA PhD ethnomusicological dissertation by Gina Fatone on his traditional and distinctive technique of using the ancient onomatopoetic sol fa system of Canntaireachd to teach the pipes: Making Hands Sing: Vocal-to-Motor Transfer of Melody Within Classical Scottish Highland Bagpiping..., 2002.

  • Founder and Pipe Major of the Santa Cruz Pipes and Drums. This award-winning band plays at events throughout the Bay Area, and is noted for its innovative and musical arrangements. It was founded by Jay in 1992 in order to provide a broader musical context for his students, young and old, to perform and share their music in, and to foster a sense of traditional musical community. Most of the pipers are students of Jay’s.

  • Founder and director of the Bagpipe and Celtic music program at Santa Cruz High School, one of the few programs of its like in the United States, in which the pipes are taught as an instrument in their own right, along with their repertoire and historical tradition.

  • Instructor in the Hamish Moore school of Cauld Wind Piping, Santa Rosa, teaching participants the technique and repertoire for the Scottish Small Pipes.

  • Widely acknowledged as an exceptional and talented teacher, Jay has taught numerous people the pipes and the low whistle over the decades, many of whom have gone on to become fine performers in their own right. Many of his students are award-winning competitors.

  • Recipient of a teaching certificate from the College of Piping, Glasgow, Scotland.

  • Long-time student of the great gold-medalist, performer, and piobaireachd scholar James McColl, and recipient of many piobaireachds and tunes from his inexhaustible well of knowledge.

  • Recipient of piobaireachds from such teachers as gold-medalists Pipe-Major Donald Shaw Ramsey and Andrew Wright.

  • Student of legendary Pipe-Major James Thompson of Downey. Also piped in Jimmy’s Grade I pipe band, The Pipe Band.

  • Organizer of workshops and house concerts for such leading and innovative pipers and groups as James McColl, Hamish Moore, Anna Murray, Gordon Mooney, Rory Campbell, Paddy Keenan, Finn Moore, Fred Morrison, Will Woodson, and Wind Bag.

  • Co-founder of the Greater Monterey Bay Celtic Society in 1989 in order to provide a society dedicated to bringing the finest of world celtic music artists to Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

  • As licensed minister of the Universal Life Church, Jay also occasionally acts as officiant at the weddings and memorial services he pipes for.

  • Passionate and long-time researcher of the history and cultural context of the Pipes.

  • As a professional sound recordist of natural environments, with hundreds of hours of recordings, and commissioned work in museums and park visitor centers, Jay is keenly appreciative of the effects of sound in different places.

  • In his capacity of recording sound in Canyonlands National Park for many years, Jay is the subject of a chapter of a book about natural sound, One Square Inch of Silence, written by the well-known nature sound recordist, Gordon Hempton, and published by Simon and Schuster, 2009.

  • Published poet active with readings.

  • MA in poetry from San Francisco State University.

©2016 Jay Salter