When I was little I wanted to be drummer like Ringo. With my parents’ help at a local baby parade, including the borrowing of some friend’s wigs, I got to play Ringo while my sisters and a neighbor played John, Paul, and George. Years later I learned to keep a basic rock or jazz beat on a drum kit but never tried to pass myself off as a real drummer.

Milford baby parade

In my teens and twenties my goal was to eventually be the lead guitarist of a successful loud rock band. You can read about my limited success and follow links to recordings in Me as 80s New York lead guitarist.

ExHusbands at the Ritz

I had always listened to a lot of jazz and played a bit of electric bass. When we moved from New York City to Charlottesville in 2003 I got an upright bass, started taking lessons, and eventually became a regular in the local minor league jazz scene. The longest regular gig was playing with Fellini’s Jazz Collective #9 every Mondays (eventually, Wednesdays) at Fellini’s Italian Restaurant in Charlottesville. I also played for a bit with Acme Swing and various one-offs with friends.

Jaye Bob Victor at Fellini's

You can also hear me playing with Haywood Giles in the background to this XML Summer School in Oxford 2009 video.

I may have worked on my bowing and reading a little more than other jazz bass players at my level, but it never occurred to me that I was qualified to play in a symphony orchestra until a friend convinced me that the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra was desperate enough for bass players that they would take me. They did, and I played with them from 2011 - 2017. This included Beethoven’s 9th and 5th symphonies, which are a real thrill to play.

WSO bass section

After I got involved in the Charlottesville jazz scene I started writing some jazz tunes. When I accumulated enough for an album I picked out some friends to rehearse it, picked a cool name for the band, and recorded an album of the songs. You can read about it at Album “Gin & Heptatonic” by my band The Heptatonic Jazz Quintet and follow links to the album on Spotify, Apple Music, and all the big streaming services on heptatonic.com.

Gin & Heptatonic cover

For 20 or so years I had thought it would be great to be in a string quartet, and the viola is such a cool instrument (as cool as John Cale and Jonny Greenwood), so I borrowed one and started lessons in 2017. I knew it would be a while before I was ready for the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra’s viola section, so I played with the Crozet Community Orchestra for a few concerts until the WSO’s announcement that they were doing Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite convinced me to jump into the deep end of that pool. I certainly faked parts of it, but overall it was a lot of fun.

CCO strings

Membership in an actual string quartet (not counting brief summer gathering of CCO people) is still in the future, but I’m working on it.

Other music projects