Jay Mason attended California State University, Long Beach, playing lead alto and soprano saxophone in its top-rated wind ensemble. He was also a featured member of the school’s jazz ensemble and orchestra. In 1981 he was a featured soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance national convention; in 1983 a saxophone quartet in which he played soprano saxophone were finalists in the national Coleman Competition for Small Ensembles.
After graduating from CSULB with a B.A. in Music, Jay began his freelance career in Southern California. His performance credits include performances with Take 6, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Michael Feinstein, Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Harrell, Cirque Du Soliel, Patti Austin, Peabo Bryson, and many others.
Jay is a member of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and also appears regularly with many other Southern California bands including Tom Kubis, John Daversa, Bob Mintzer and others. He plays principal saxophone in the Long Beach Municipal Band, and performs with the Glendale Pops, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony. He is also a member emeritus of the Disneyland Band, retiring as principal saxophonist after playing every woodwind chair in the ensemble.
Jay has been in the orchestras for shows like Wicked, Book of Mormon, Young Frankenstein, and many more, performing at venues such as the South Coast Repertory Theatre, Orange County Performing Arts Center, and the Ahmanson Theatre. He has recorded with John Lithgow, Michael Bublé, Tom Kubis, Michael Brecker, and many others, including playing on soundtracks for parades and rides at Disneyland and other theme parks around the world.
His recent work on soundtracks for motion pictures and television include Aladdin and the King of Thieves, The Howie Mandel Show, Tower of Terror, Frozen, The Curios Case of Benjamin Button, and Gangster Squad, to name a few. He is active as an artist/clinician at schools such as CSU Fresno; CSU San Diego; Red Rocks High School in Mesa, AZ; University of Missouri, St. Louis; and Carroll County High School in Southlake, TX.