Jay Rosen was born in 1961 in Philadelphia. His family moved to Long Island, N.Y. in 1964. Jay's musical interest took shape from recorded music that was played around the house as well as two aunts and a brother that were all musicians. Musical vibrations affected Jay in deep, profound ways. Jay began music lessons at age eight on guitar and then piano. However, after seeing (and hearing) Tony Williams (with Sonny Rollins) at Carnegie Hall in 1971, Jay switched to the drums exclusively.
Upon hearing Charlie Parker and John Coltrane at the age of 13, Jay decided to pursue jazz as a serious course of study