Jay (James) Klales is unique among Settlement’s faculty in that he did not attend a degreed program. He studied independently with Classical Guitarists Peter Segal, Peter Colonna and Joseph Mayes. He also studied Baroque and Renaissance Lute with Joseph Mayes. He studied improvisations with Jazz bassist Al Stauffer and Music Theory with Settlement’s own Donald Rappaport. Jay has also attended master classes in guitar with Oscar Ghiglia and Michael Lorimer and a master class in Ukulele with Jake Shimabukoro. “I tend to follow my curiosity and am fairly obsessive about my interests!” “Harnessing that obsessiveness to follow healthy choices has been my challenge!”
Jay began performing acoustic blues guitar and then became interested in Classical Guitar and the lute. He has performed with vocalist Molly Pyle, flutist Janet Schreiner and recorderist Orum Stringer. With Orum Stringer he has a recording on the Griffin Renaissance Label entitled “The Portable Weiss Festival”; Works for Baroque Lute and Recorder by Sylivius Leopold Weiss and Ernst Gottlieb Baron. The Portable Weiss Festival true to it’s name did a national tour sponsored in part by Borders Books and Music. The recording includes a premier of Weiss’ Sonata in F with a reconstructed flute part by Dr. Eileen Hadidian!
As a teacher at the Chestnut Hill College’s Arts camp , Jay developed a course called “The Art of Jamming”. The course made it possible for classically trained students and rock oriented students to collaborate. Jay also ran The Rock Shack at Burn Brae Camp for the Creative Arts for over a decade. Helping young students form bands and develop their performance and improvisational skills. Again with a preference for mixing instrumentation so that a clarinet or violin student can perform with an electric band or a rock oriented student can play with a string ensemble. The resulting “cross talk” between unlikely instrumentalists he finds fascinating. At the Willow Grove Branch this idea is also seen in the new ensemble “The XperiMentals”, a group using guitar, cello, violin and piano and some electronic technology!
Jay currently is interested in the Ukulele and it’s ability to create community and has taught both adult and children’s classes on that instrument. He has also attended two Ukulele Festivals as well as workshops on the technic and culture of the Ukulele.
Specialties: Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guitar, Guitar-Plecturm