Indo-Jazz & Creative Music

Being an innovative pathfinder and virtuoso musician, Jonathan has been traveling the world exploring undiscovered musical realms which unite the soul of the East with the creativity of the West in a unique synthesis of musical expression.

Based in Kolkata, India and Toronto Canada, Jonathan Kay is leading the younger generation towards a truly original and creative approach to improvisation and global music through his tenor and soprano saxophones, esraj (rare Indian 21-stringed bowed instrument), bansuri (Indian bamboo flute) and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute).

Trained as a jazz saxophonist for 15 years in Toronto, Canada, Jonathan graduated from the renowned Humber College with honours in Jazz Studies, where he was under the mentorship of world-class saxophonist and Coltrane scholar Pat LaBarbera.  Jonathan has also been fortunate to perform alongside some of the world’s leading Jazz musicians including; Phil Woods, Daniel Carter, Tony Malaby, Jim Black, Seamus Blake, Ingrid Jensen, Paquito D’Rivera, Don Thompson, Pat Labarbera, David Mott, Mike Murley, George Koller, Michael Attias and Kieran Overs. He has also traveled to New York to learn from Kenny Garrett, Seamus Blake, Lenny Pickett and Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Inspired by the spiritual revelations crying from John Coltrane’s saxophone in the late 60’s, Jonathan is continuing Coltrane’s search for a “multicultural theory of musical transcendence” in Kolkata, India, where for the past 8 years he has been living with his Guru, Pandit Shantanu Bhattacharyya learning the art of North Indian Classical Raga music and its expression on the Soprano and Tenor saxophones. In 2015, Jonathan begun is formal studies of the Shakuhachi in Kyoto, Japan with his Sensei, Michiaki Okada.

Monsoon, co-founded by Jonathan, is an Indo-Jazz collective whose music combines elements of creative Jazz harmony and improvisation with melodic aesthetics of traditional Indian Classical music to produce a rich and meaningful cross-cultural expression. Gaining international recognition for their original approach to Indo-Jazz music, Monsoon’s first studio album Mandala received a Juno Nomination in 2014 and in 2015 the band was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, in the ‘Best World Group’ category.

Kayos Theory, lead by The Saxophone Brothers, Jonathan and Andrew Kay, is a collective that explores the mystical synthesis of Indian Classical music with creative improvisation. Inspired by John Coltrane and the Integral Yoga psychology/philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, Jonathan composed an hour long piece of music Experiments of Truth Suite, which has been performed over 20 times in USA,Canada and India, each time featuring an internationally acclaimed special guest including; Daniel Carter, Tony Malaby, Jim Black, Michael Attias, Pat LaBarbera, David Mott, Mike Murley, Subhajyoti Guha and Sougata Roy Chowdhury. In 2015, Kayos Theory toured India with Jim Black and Michael Attias and premiered the Experiments of Truth Suite in Kolkata and New Delhi, India as part of a cross-cultural study on improvisation conducted by Amandine Pras.





Jonathan Kay & Dan Weiss Duo

Mirror Image – A contemporary Raga creation by Jonathan Kay

Monsoon - Python's Tendency

Python’s Tendency is a modal composition of mine that combines Indian modes with chromatic jazz improvisation. This is a video taken during Monsoon’s album ‘Mandala’ studio recording at Canterbury Music Company in Toronto on May 20th, 2014.

Monsoon - Celestial Oceans

Monsoon ‘Mandala’ CD release concert, recorded live at Glenn Gould Studio, November 9th, 2014.

Celestial Oceans is a composition based on the theme of the vast monsoon Raga Mian Ki Malhar. My saxophone solo starts with an improvised Raga alaap (free of time) inspired by a collection of monsoon Ragas and slowly expands into chromatic modal jazz improvisation.

Monsoon Quartet - Rasalila

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Monsoon Quartet- Mirage

Mirage (composed by Jonathan Kay)

Saxophone Brothers Improvisation

An improvisation on Shakuhachi, traditional Japanese bamboo flute and Himalayan Singing Bowls based on John Coltrane’s composition Equinox.

Kayos Theory: The Experiments of Truth

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Kayos Theory featuring David Liebman

Experiments of Truth – The Ascent (composed by Jonathan Kay) featuring David Liebman