JAy Ansill is a musician
After a few unsatisfying years of classical violin lessons starting at age 9, Jay gave up music altogether until the age of 14 when he "borrowed" his brother's guitar and learned some chords from a friend. This led to an obsession with music and before long Jay was taking lessons on the guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle with the legendary Edgar Stanistreet in Philadelphia, and by age 17, he was playing in square dances and ceilis.
While still in his teens, Jay helped form the Schuylkill Valley Nature Boys, who became well known in Philadelphia for their Station ID song on WXPN. Jay also was a member of the Irish group McDermott's Handy and was a popular sideman, playing alongside Priscilla Herdman, Saul Broudy and any of a number of people traveling through town.
"Origami", Jay's first album for Flying Fish Records, was voted Best Folk Album by the Philadelphia Music Foundation. Jay's highly acclaimed selection of settings of poetry by Robert Graves, "A Lost World" has taken him to the UK and Spain for performances. His work has been performed by several string quartets as well as the Maryland Symphony and the Southwest Michigan Symphony. His original music for theater has been nominated for several awards.
And then there's The Cheese Project.
NEWS for the Fall
I had a really fantastic Summer. I got to spend 10 days in Spoleto, Italy working with Lee Breuer and a group of fantastically talented people developing a new play called "Glass Guignol" which will be premiering in the Spring of 2017 in NY. Details to come. After Spoleto, Claudia and I spent a few days in Rome, where we saw the sites and took a few Pink Men pictures.
After coming back from Italy. Claudia and I traveled to the Southwest to play a couple of gigs with Anne Hills in Fir, Colorado. We spent a few days visiting friends and driving around New Mexico before heading to Colorado. And After that, Anne and I played at a small festival in Evert, Michigan, which was also lots of fun.
This Summer also saw the release of the new CD "Fragile Gifts" with Anne Hills, which I'm really excited about and proud of.
The big news for the fall is that I was nominated for a Barrymore Award for the music I wrote for the play "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates" at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia this past winter. I've recorded some of the music from the play and you can hear it here: https://www.reverbnation.com/jayansill/album/135434-hans-brinker-soundtrack