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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Jay Ware

Adjunct Drum Set Instructor
School of Music

Jay Ware bio


Jay Ware is an award-winning performing artist and educator whose consummate versatility has garnered the praise of musical giants such as David Baker and Eric Ewazen. His performing/recording credits include: Grammy Award winner Dee Stewart, Pulitzer-Prize winner Gunther Schuller, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Emmy winner and Jazz legend David Baker, Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame member Bob Becker, Grammy Award nominees Jack Wilkins and Chuck Owen, opera diva and Grammy Award contributing artist Marietta Simpson, the Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Charleston Jazz Orchestra, the New York Brass Quintet, the Broyhill Chamber Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Pops Orchestra, Mike Vax, Rick Simerly, Steve Houghton, Carroll Dashiell Jr., Tom Walsh, Mark Sterbank, Everett Greene, Pat Harbison, Dominic Spera, Dalores King Williams, Luke Gillespie, and many others. He has performed at conventions and festivals including the American Bandmasters Association, CBDNA, Music Educators National Conference, Percussive Arts Society Days of Percussion, New Trier Jazz Festival, Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto Music Festivals, Appalachian Summer Music Festival, as well as special appearances on various television and radio broadcasts. In 2007, he founded the Jay Ware Quintet (JWQ), which has performed throughout the nation, including residencies at the Williamston Jazz Gala and the Tri-State Select Honor Jazz Ensemble.

In addition to his performing credits, Mr. Ware is equally active as an educator and advocate for music in school curricula. He is currently the Director of Percussion at South Carolina State University and Adjunct Instructor of Drum Set at the University of South Carolina. Mr. Ware has held teaching positions at West Liberty University (WV), the Jazz Department in The Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University (IN), Appalachian State University (NC), the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra Jazz Program (IN), Director of Bands at South Lenoir High School (NC), as well as Marching Percussion Arranger/Instructor for over 30 high schools. He is in high demand as a jazz and concert performing artist, guest conductor, adjudicator, and music advocate, and has offered masterclasses at universities and schools nationwide. Mr. Ware is a two-time recipient of Who's Who Among America's Teachers, is a winner of the Appalachian State University Concerto/Aria Competition, and was nominated for the prestigious Performers Certificate at Indiana University.

He has served as Vice President of the West Virginia Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and was Site Coordinator for the 2010 WV PAS Day of Percussion. Mr. Ware is an endorsing artist for: Innovative Percussion Inc., LP, Remo, Yamaha, and Zildjian.