Jay Daly's career as a musician and educator spans more than 40 years, taking him around the United States and the globe. Born and raised in Hampton, NH, Jay played trumpet at age eight. In his teens he played professional jobs six nights a week with the union big band at Hampton Beach. The Ted Herbert Orchestra subsequently hired Jay as lead trumpet, leading to hundreds of performances.

Jay gained a music degree from the University of New Hampshire where he gained classical training and played lead trumpet in the UNH Jazz Band. The UNH Jazz Band was chosen by legendary trumpeter Clark Terry to accompany him to the Montreaux International Jazz Festival, becoming the first-ever college ensemble to perform an evening program. During this time Jay was also named to the Disneyland All-American College Band.​

Jay studied with Robert Stibler, James West, Charles Schlueter, Robert Nagel, Leon Merian and Wes Hensel.

Jay's performance and touring credits are as wide-ranging as they are extensive. The short list includes more than 15 years touring with the Artie Shaw and Harry James Orchestras respectively as lead trumpet. Jay also played lead trumpet in the Herb Pomeroy Orchestra, Ken Hadley’s Big Band, Craig Ball's White Heat Swing Orchestra, Greg Hopkins Big Band, and the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra among many others.

As a first-call Boston freelancer Jay performed with Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Johnny Mathis, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole and Linda Ronstadt. In the field of jazz Jay has performed with Randy Brecker, Dexter Gordon, Phil Woods, Butch Miles, Lew Soloff, Phil Wilson, Bijon Watson, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson and many others,

Despite his jazz pedigree Jay does not consider himself a jazz artist. Rather, he says he is a classically trained musician who specializes in musical theater, big band trumpet section work, recording session calls, and solo programs with ensembles playing classical repertory. Some 40 years ago Jay founded New England Brass, a quintet he leads today, continuing to gain audience kudos and critical approval whenever it performs in concert. An offshoot of that group, The Barbeque Brass, performs a lighter, more pop-oriented concert show. 

Not the least of Jay's many notable gigs was playing in the Barnum and Bailey Brothers' Circus band. For years, Jay was a first-call trumpet for the circus whenever it came to Boston. 

Today you won't find Jay in the circus band but you will find him in a theater pit orchestra. Jay is the musician contractor at North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA, (a venue that tops 350,000 attendance annually.) Jay also travels widely on call to other New England and New York musical theaters.

Over the past three years Jay produced his first original concert show in which he stars as a soloist.  Titled, From Stardust to Penny Lane: A Celebration of the Popular Trumpet, the show tells a musical story of the popular trumpet in America. The show premiered to enthusiastic audiences and had a limited run during 2019. It was scheduled for a performance at the Lincoln Center in April 2020 followed by a tour but the COVID outbreak forced postponements. It eventually opened in April 2022 at North Shore Music Theatre and is now available for bookings, newly updated and re-named "Trumpet Kings: A musical tribute to America's great trumpet stars.". 

A dedicated educator who spent the first years of his career combining public school band directing with professional trumpet engagements, Jay is today an in-demand clinician. Jay offers master classes, clinics, residencies and guest artist programs for secondary and post-secondary schools. Jay also offers private lessons with remote teaching options for students at all levels from his Beverly, Massachusetts studio.