Interview with Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra

If you’re a jazz/jazz fusion lover, then you definitely know Spyro Gyra. These guys have released 31 albums, been playing for 40+ years, and have performed over 5,000 shows. They’ve also sold over 10 million albums, with one platinum and two gold records. We’re a bit impressed, to say the least! They’re headed to Infinity Hall in Norfolk on October 22nd. We were excited to chat with Jay Beckenstein, founding member and bandleader…

Spyro Gyra has been playing for over 40 years – longer than 80% of marriages (we’re guessing)…What’s the secret?

That’s certainly longer than my marriages! It’s really that we just chanced into people that get along really well. We’re really good friends; even brothers. It’s been a nice chemistry.

Best part about being a band leader?

When you can get away with not being a band leader, and everything goes smoothly…

Worst part about being a band leader?

When you have to be a band leader!

We love to know about pre or post show routines…spill the beans on yours!

We always do this silly basketball thing, putting our hands together and yelling before we go onstage. As far as post-show is concerned, that’s become a glass of Jameson together! The band usually gathers after the show somewhere to celebrate.

What do you love about playing at Infinity Hall?

We’ve played here many times and we love it. It’s a charming venue and they take really good care of their artists. What’s not to love?

Finish the sentence:

Success is the result of hard work.

I’m most at home at home.

The music I’m jamming to now is the score to Hamilton.

What can people expect when they come to the show on Oct. 22nd at Infinity Hall Norfolk?

They can expect me to have a good time (laughs)! And I don’t say that as a joke, I think people can sense that we are really having a good time, and we are in fact liking each other. We’ll do a little bit of our old stuff, and we’ll do a little bit of our new stuff. We tend to feature everybody in the band as opposed to just me. But mostly, we just have a party on stage. We really do.


Photos by Brian Friedman/B-Freed Photography

Follow Spyro Gyra on Facebook and Twitter.