One might describe Jay Bellerose’s drumming like they would a black and white photograph: classic, timeless, requiring thoughtful composition.
Jay plays the drums in a way that is preservative of what he understands to be the heart and soul of the music he is taking part in.
Bellerose spent his youth in his home-state of Maine, and would go on to attend Berklee College of Music. For the last twenty-plus years, Los Angeles has been home for Jay and his partner, Jennifer Condos, who is one of the great bass players of our time.
Jay is a tricky one to pin-down; he’s not online, no social media and he rarely gives interviews. But his privacy allows him to focus on the task at hand, which for Jay, is creating honest and beautiful music with his friends. Jay has become the preferred call for world-class producers T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry, and has played on hundreds of records, from Sara Bareilles to Willie Nelson to Robert Plant to B.B. King. And if you live in L.A., you can find Jay playing small clubs around the east side when he’s not on the road.
Upon first seeing Jay in one of these clubs not quite a year ago, I was instantly captivated by the space he was able to create in a live setting. I had never seen anything like it, and it prompted me to learn as much as I could about his philosophy surrounding the drums.
Despite his choice to remain off-grid, Jay is actually an approachable guy if you catch him after a show. He was happy to share his thoughts on music making, the world of drumming and the path he’s taken that’s allowed him to play the music he needs to play.