Jay Cameron

Jay Cameron (September 14, 1928 – March 20, 2001) was an American jazz reed player, with an emphasis in baritone saxophone. He was born in New York City and died in San Diego, California.


Cameron began as an alto saxophonist but later recorded with bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, and B-flat clarinet. His career began in the early 1940s in Hollywood with Ike Carpenter's band, with whom he played until 1947. He moved to Europe near the end of the decade and played with Rex Stewart, Bill Coleman, Roy Haynes and Henri Renaud in France and Italy; in the early 1950s Cameron gigged around Belgium, Germany, and Scandinavia. In 1955 he played steadily in Paris with a band that included Bobby Jaspar, Barney Wilen and Jean-Louis Chautemps. He returned to the United States in 1956, playing in the bands of Woody Herman (1956) and Slide Hampton (1960). He also worked with Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson (1957–58), Freddie Hubbard (1958), Candido Camero, Bill Barron, André Hodeir, Hal McKusick, and Les and Larry Elgart. He led the International Sax Band and the Third Herdsmen. In the late 1960s, Cameron toured with Paul Winter.


As leader

  • Jay Cameron's International Sax-Band (Swing, 1955)

As sideman

With Slide Hampton

With others

Further reading

  • Jay Cameron at Allmusic
  • Bill Moody, The Jazz Exiles:American Musicians Abroad. Includes a chapter on Cameron.