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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Jay Ware

Title: 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 nominee Donny McCaslin, Delfeayo Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Tony DeSare, Emmy winner and Jazz legend David Baker, Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame member Bob Becker, Grammy Award winner Dee Stewart, Pulitzer-Prize winner Gunther Schuller, Grammy Award nominees Jack Wilkins and Chuck Owen, opera diva and Grammy Award contributing artist Marietta Simpson, Deana Martin, the Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Charleston Jazz Orchestra, the New York Brass Quintet, the Broyhill Chamber Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Pops Orchestra, Mark Rapp, Mike Vax, Rick Simerly, Carroll Dashiell Jr., Tom Walsh, Mark Sterbank, Everett Greene, Pat Harbison, Dominic Spera, Dalores King Williams, 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, University of Mary Jazz Festival, as well as special appearances on various television and radio broadcasts. In 2007, he founded the Jay Ware Quintet and Jay Ware Trio, which have performed throughout the nation, including residencies at the Williamston Jazz Gala and West Liberty University. He also founded the Columbia Jazz Collective, which recorded their first album in 2014.

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 Instructor of Drum Set at The University of South Carolina. Mr. Ware previously served as Director Percussion at SC State University (SC), Director of Percussion/Associate Director of Bands at West Liberty University (WV), Associate Instructor of Drum Set and Vibraphone of the Jazz Department in The Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University (IN), Percussion and Marching Graduate Assistant at Appalachian State University (NC), Director of Bands at South Lenoir High School (NC), as well as Marching Percussion Arranger/Instructor for over 30 high schools. With over 150 performances each year, 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., Remo, Yamaha, and Zildjian.