$10 Virtual Tickets available. All receive zoom link and 1 year access to archived video of the event.
Fiddler, composer, and co-founder of the Ashokan Center began life near the outlet of the Ashokan Reservoir’s water system in the Bronx and found his way to the water’s source where he lives today. On his 75th birthday we’ll be celebrating Jay together in Zoom with little-known photos and pivotal stories of his life.
Jay was born to Hungarian and Macedonian immigrant parents and raised in the Bronx, NY where he developed a rich appreciation for music and art, and a longing for time in nature. In 1980 he started Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps at Ashokan, then SUNY New Paltz’s Ashokan Field Campus. Inspired by the camps, he composed the fiddle tune “Ashokan Farewell” in 1982, which he recorded with Molly Mason and their band Fiddle Fever. Taken by this haunting melody, filmmaker Ken Burns invited Jay and Molly to provide music for many of his PBS specials, most notably The Civil War, in which “Ashokan Farewell” became the main theme. The sound track won a Grammy, and earned Jay an Emmy nomination. In 2006, when Ashokan was unexpectedly being sold, Jay and Molly formed the Ashokan Foundation and with community and state support preserved the land and Ashokan’s important programs. Read the full story here. Jay is president of the Ashokan Foundation and Ashokan Center boards, and is acting CEO. He and Molly have been married since 1991. They co-direct Ashokan Music & Dance Camps and tour nationally spreading their authentic, acoustically-rooted music and the story of Ashokan wherever they go.