Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Binder, Aaron (Jay)

Binder, Aaron (Jay), drums, composer; b. Ann Arbor, MI, 8 June 1972. At age 3 his family moved to Charlottesville, Va. where he remained with his mother (Phyllis Binder b.1943) and sister (Vanessa Binder b.1969). He began playing trumpet at age 8 and switched to drums at age 14. He attended Charlottesville High School, but was not allowed by the band director to audition for the school jazz band. He performed instead with the city's youth jazz ensemble, youth orchestra, and municipal band.He studied privately with drummer Robert Jospe from 1986 -1989 and with percussionist/composer Bruce Penner in 1989.

He attended Virginia Commonwealth University from 1990 -1994 where he studied with drummers Scott Taylor and Howard Curtis. After obtaining a BA in jazz studies from VCU, he was accepted to the graduate program at Manhattan School of Music but was unable to afford the tuition. He moved to Brooklyn and attended Mannes College in Manhattan for a semester. He then moved back to Charlottesville in 1995, then to Richmond, Va. in 2000. He has been a mainstay on the Mid-Atlantic jazz scene since 1995 and has recorded with such artists as John Swana, John D'earth, Anthony Wilson, Hod O'Brien, Sid Simmons, and Jeff Decker.

He has worked up and down the east coast with gigs at New York's "Birdland" and "The Five Spot", Philadelphia's "Zanzibar Blue" and "Ortliebs", "The Haven" in Baltimore, and "Blues Alley" and "Twins Lounge" in DC. He has performed with such artists as Rene Marie, Hod O'Brien, Walter Bell, Stephanie Nakasian, Sid Simmons, Bob Hallahan, Clarence Seay, Royce Campbell, Gerald "Twig" Smith, and Jeff Decker. He now actively gigs, records, and teaches throughout central Virginia.

This Side of Jazz (1997); As Modern as Tomorrow (1998); Fortune Smiles on Aaron Binder (2000); Unreleased quintet recording with John Swana (2003)

As sideperson:
Walter Bell: Ever So Gently (1996); "Chesterfield" Soundtrack (1997); Walter
Bell: Blue Smoke (1997); Jason Jenkins: Illusions Past the Thirteenth Hour
(1998); Walter Bell: The Pleasure's All Mine (1998), An Evening with Flutist Walter Bell (1999); Unreleased quintet with Anthony Wilson (2000); Doug Bethel: unreleased (2001), Walter Bell: In Three Places at Once (2001), Success Leaves Its Clues (2002), The Walter Bell Companion (2002); Jason Jenkins: Volume 3 (2002).

Contact information:

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