Bio

Jay DiPaola

I'm a singer-songwriter and entertainer from St. Louis, MO, but I've grown up all over this fine, troubled land known as the USA.  Ten different states and counting.  I perform on acoustic guitar and I sing tragi-comic ballads in myriad styles.  From the day you get your name, I say, there's joy and desperation.  I need to share mine so I don't feel lonely when I think something's sad or funny.  Music is the best way I've found, or that I've been given, to accomplish this rather selfish goal. 

It all started when I was born a genius.

I grew up with five siblings.  My parents loved to sing so we all sang too.  It was considered 'normal' behavior. They'd parade us in front of their martini party friends and have us belt out favorites and harmonize for everyone.  And the phonograph in the living room played Harry Belafonte and Xavier Cugat and Stan Kenton, and us kids would spin til we fell down laughing.  Music meant the joy of belonging and the dizziness and delight of moving to it's organized chaos -- all happening right there in our house but also opening up the roof for me to something way beyond St. Louie.

Since then I've learned and written a lot of music and played a lot of damn martini parties.  I've had some really rewarding successes and some equally challenging gigs, both alone and in the company of some great bands.  My performing history is filled with solo touring and ensemble work with traditional and progressive rock, jazz, funk, classical, and folk musicians.  I've been fortunate to record two studio albums, and make several live and EP recordings that have received radio airplay, including Don't Give Away Your Mind, a protest song aired in it's 8 minute entirety on NPR.  

And I've also brought this experience and joy into directing and promoting many festivals and live events, including several geared toward putting young or amateur performers on stage.  Earlier this century I hosted an epic 500-show run of open mic nights in the clubs of Whitefish, MT. something I'm really proud of. 

I currently live and perform in Asheville, NC, always serious and professional, but really just continuing my normal behavior patterns based on playing music and spinning around and possibly falling down laughing.