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jae 2021

Jae Sinnett

Host, Sinnett in Session

As as 35 plus year professional performing artist…drummer, composer and music Educator, Jae Sinnett has 16 recordings as a leader and has appeared on several recordings as a sideman. Jae’s first release as a leader was in 1986 - called "Obsession." Featured on this project were: The former director of the Count Basie Orchestra, Frank Foster playing saxophone, John Hicks, piano, Wallace Roney, trumpet, Steve Wilson, saxophone and Clarence Seay, bass. His other releases include Blue Jae, House and Sinnett, Listen (number one Gavin national jazz chart 1996), The Better Half, Off the Myopic Avenue, Confluence, The Sinnett Hearings (number one on the national jazz charts February 2005), Still Standing, It's Telling-A Drummer's Perspective, Theatre, Subject to Change, House & Sinnett Old School Loyalty (Soul ensemble 2011). In 2016 Jae released his Zero to 60 Quartet project which went to number one on the Jazzweek national radio charts in April of 2016. The quartet features saxophonist Ralph Bowen, pianist Allen Farnham and bassist Terry Burrell. In 2019 the Quartet released the follow up Just When You Thought which spent 26 weeks in the top 25 on the chart. Jae also composed and performs the theme song to Another View on WHRV FM 89.5.

Jae's first performance/instructional video called "Musical Drumming Concepts" was released in 2001. "Modern Drummer" magazine rated it an "8" out of "10." It showcases his compositions, philosophical ideas on music and drumming education and drumming in various styles. A very lyrical, intelligent and prolific composer, he's written over 200 compositions. He's also scored music for five documentaries, one of which (John Biggers: Stories of Illumination) was aired on PBS. Jae is now in his 31st amazing year as jazz producer/host on WHRV-FM, 89.5, public radio for Eastern Virginia. Jae hosts the popular jazz show "Sinnett In Session" Monday through Thursday evenings from 9pm-1am, Saturday mornings from 1-5 and Sunday afternoons from 1pm-5pm. His second show he produces is called "The R&B Chronicles" which is heard Friday evenings at 7pm.

In 1998 Jae was nominated for Gavin Jazz programmer of the year by his peers in the industry and has been nominated four more times since. In 2018 he was awarded the Scott Willis Jazz Impact Award and in 2019 he was awarded the prestigious Duke Dubois Jazz Humanitarian Award!!! Jae is an extraordinary fundraiser. His jazz show continues to be one of the highest fundraising revenue producing shows in the country. As a jazz educator, Jae taught jazz history, theory and percussion and directed the jazz big band and jazz combos at the Governors School for the Arts (Gifted high school students) in Norfolk for eight years. Jae was adjunct drumset and jazz ensemble instructor at Christopher Newport University for four years. He attended Norfolk State and Old Dominion Universities as a music education major. His instruments of choice are Sonor Designer, Sonor Vintage Series and Delite Series Drums and Sabian Cymbals. Jae is a Sonor drums and Sabian cymbals endorser.

Here is a listing of other extraordinary musicians Jae has performed with over the years. They include Branford and Ellis Marsalis, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Mangione, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Carol Sloane, Jon Hendricks, Randy Brecker, Scott Hamilton, Sean Jones, Jimmy Greene, James Moody, Kenny Drew Jr., Fred Hersch, Mulgrew Millew, James Williams, Jack Walwrath, Makoto Ozone, JoAnne Brackeen, Andrew White, Frank Morgan and many others.

Jae’s groups have performed at some of the major jazz festivals and clubs throughout the states and in Europe. Some of the major performances include: The Ella Fitzgerald Festival in Newport News Virginia -The University of Wyoming, Coe College, Iowa State University, Marciac Jazz Festival France, The M'Shop in Ames, Iowa and The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head S.C., Millersville University, Wayne State University, the Texas Jazz Festival, the Tucson Jazz Festival and Emory University in Atlanta and many more.

Contact Jae at: jae.sinnett@whrv.org

Explore Jae's programs.

  • WHRV host Jae Sinnett is a busy guy--broadcaster, drummer, educator chef--how does he juggle it all? He says it requires focusing on what is most important to you.
  • "When I became a serious listener of jazz and a musician, it was a bit overwhelming. I didn't understand the improvisational aspects, conceptual design or the complex rhythms."
  • "I found a picture a few years back of me holding drumsticks, banging away on a drum pad while watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964." Jae Sinnett discusses his passion for drumming.
  • Musician and WHRV host Jae Sinnett shares how the first culinary seeds of his journey were planted by his grandmother, and how his love of preparing food grew from there.
  • "All musicians need to or should take lessons, particularly in the beginning, but achieving greatness is a lifetime study." WHRV host and musician Jae Sinnett discusses why technical training is so important for performers.
  • Jazz has a long list of musical greats who have performed throughout the years. What are the best jazz albums of last year? WHRV Host Jae Sinnett ranks his top picks of 2021.
  • "At some point in your life, how and where you choose to expend energy and place focus becomes front and center." Musician and chef Jae Sinnett explains the art of finding your own style.
  • "I remember finding a photo of me banging away on a drum pad with sticks, watching the Ed Sullivan Show the night the Beatles appeared in February of '64. The interest started that far back as a very young boy."
  • "Cooking helps me with how I play music. How? It constantly challenges me to come up with sophisticated ideas and gives me a method to present them." WHRV host and jazz musician Jae Sinnett shares how his passion for cooking enhances his performance skills.
  • "Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend after one of our concerts and he overheard me speaking with some musicians. He wanted to know if it still feels good having folks, after all these years of performing, compliment my playing? He also wanted to know how I felt when folks didn't say anything. Interesting."