About Jay Gruska
Jay Gruska received his first recording contract as a singer/songwriter with ABC Dunhill Records while in his third year of college as a music major at UCLA. It began a career that has included the release of two additional albums as an artist for Warner Brothers Records, writing several hit songs for other artists that have charted #1 or Top #10 on the BILLBOARD charts in virtually every category including Adult Contemporary(#1), Country (#1) and Dance charts (#1), POP (#2), composing multiple EMMY and GENIE (Canadian Academy Award) nominated music for Film and Television shows seen in over 50 countries, and writing scores for theatrical musicals.
Gruska was born in Brooklyn, N.Y, lived in Caracas, Venezuela until he was nine, then moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. Influenced early on by Latin, Classical and Broadway music played in his home, and popular music ranging from standards to The Beatles and Motown, his musical sensibility incorporates a constantly evolving mixture of styles and genres.
As a result of his eclectic music background, Jay has morphed musically from project to project. This ever changing musical landscape is the quality he likes most about the work he’s been privileged to enjoy. While spending over 15 years as a staff songwriter with either Screen Gems EMI, Geffen Music or Universal Music, Jay shifted seamlessly from pop music to film and TV composing and he once enjoyed a #1 movie “Mo’ Money”, a Top Ten hit on the pop charts “Good For Me” by Amy Grant, and a hit TV series with an EMMY-nominated theme “Lois And Clark:The New Adventures of Superman” all within a short period……many of these projects have garnered 10 ASCAP AWARDS for Jay so far.
While composing music for more than 500 hours of TV dramas and movies, he has also co-written the scores for three musicals in various stages of development, “Being Earnest” a musical version of “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, which had it’s world premiere at THEATREWORKS Palo Alto in April of 2013 (BAY AREA THEATER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD-nomination for Best New Musical), “The Front” (based on the movie of the same name starring Woody Allen) and an original work, “Backstreet”.
A memorable moment in his songwriting career was when “Friends And Lovers” and “Both To Each Other” achieved 2 simultaneous single releases by 4 different artists (2 duets), which rode to the very top of 3 charts and for which he received a total of 4 ASCAP Awards for ‘Among Most Performed Songs’ 2 years in a row.
Despite a long and varied career, Jay still feels like a student of his craft and is genuinely excited at each opportunity to immerse himself either in familiar territory or a new musical idiom. He is equally at home with a group of live musicians as he is in front of a bank of electronics, although he will always swear by the former…