Jayna Nelson was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and began to study piano as soon as she could reach the keyboard. At age 9 she began to study the flute as well and by age 17 had won both the Baldwin Junior Keyboard award and the National Music Teachers' Association Competition. She graduated from the University of Toronto in Flute Performance where she studied with Louis Moyse, Andre Jaunet and Jeanne Baxtresser. For the next two years, she served on the faculty at University of Toronto teaching chamber music. There she also premiered a work by Mario Davidovsky: Synchronism #1 for Flute & Electronic Tape under the direction of the composer. She also was principal flutist with the Union College Orchestra, the Wesleyan College Orchestra, Opera Omaha Orchestra and Symphony Canada.
In 1983 she attended the Banff Centre Jazz program headed by Dave Holland and studied and performed with Anthony Braxton, Don Thompson, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie and Freddie Stone. Jayna moved to New York in 1989. She continues to work as a Classical and Jazz performer, producer, composer, arranger and educator. She has designed and implemented integrated arts curriculum for New York area schools and summer camps and has lectured and given seminars at the University of Nebraska, University of Georgia, Bard College and the Julliard school of music and also has has maintained a private teaching studio for over 20 yrs. She has performed in the Toronto DuMaurier, NYC Panasonic, NYC JVC Jazz festivals, Woodstock Maverick Concert series, and the Kleinert/James Gallery, Woodstock, NY.
Jayna also has been a flute technician and consultant for Anthony Braxton, Dave Liebman, Joe Giardullo, Jeanne Baxtresser, Joannie Maddon, Carlos Malta, Hermeto Pascoal, and James Moody.
Jayna Nelson has recorded with: David Arner, Karl Berger, Warren Bernhardt, Peter Blum, Marilyn Crispell, Peter Einhorn, John Esposito, Jim Finn, Hilliard Green, Fred Hand, Howard Johnson, Dean Jones, John Lindberg, Ken Lovelet, Silvana Malta, Francois Moutin, Peter O'Brien, Hermeto Pascoal, Eric Person, Herb Robertson, Jaribu Shahid, Matt Shulman, Rasoul Siddik, Sirius String Quartet, Tani Tabbal and Tony Underwood.
Jayna Nelson has performed with: Accords String Quartet, David Arner, Sangeeta Michael Berardi, Karl Berger, Peter Blum, David Budd, Rob Campbell, Petula Clark, Kenny Clayton, Mario Davidovsky, Peter Einhorn, John Esposito, Mark Feldman, James Finn, William Gallison, Joe Giardullo, Hilliard Greene, Jamie Haddad, Fred Hand, Rosi Hartlein, Phil Haynes, Peter Herbert, Ingrid Jensen, Jeff Johnston, Paul Jury, Joachim Larty, John Lindberg, The London Paladium, Joe McPhee, Marty Morrell, Matt Guitar Murphy, Peter O'Brien, Opera Omaha, Ted Orr, Eric Person, Herb Robertson, Joshua Roseman, Jaribu Shahid, Ben Scher, Ed Schuller, Matt Schulman, Fred Stone Big Band, Symphony Canada, Tani Tabbal, Steve Thorton, Thomas Ulrich, Tony Underwood, Carlos Valdez, Dave Valentine, Jim Vivian, Richard Whiteman, Jeff Williams.
John Esposito - A Book Of Five Rings - Sunjump Records
Jayna Nelson - Bloom Of Creation - Sunjump Records
Tani Tabbal/Rasoul Siddik/Jaribu Shahid/Jayna Nelson - Untitled Upcoming Release
Marilyn Crispell/Jayna Nelson - Soul Suitcase (score for film by Paul DiStephano)
Fred Hand/Jayna Nelson - A Psalm Of Thanksgiving - Cherry Lane Music
Peter Blum - Singing Bowls And One - Inside/Outside
Dog on Fleas - Beautiful World
Jeanne Namitz - We Owe The Grave Many A Day
Marilyn Crispell - Vignettes -ECM (Composition only: Cuida Tu Espiritu)
Jeff Marx - Treading Air Breathing Fire- Naugual
Fred Hand - Solos For Guitar-Willow Music
Jeanne Namitz - We Owe The Grave Many A Day (also arranger)
Jayna Nelson - Bloom Of Creation- Sunjump
Jayna Nelson - Kidcelebration-personalized name tapes-songs for children (composer and lyricist)
TV Commercials - Tropicana, Nike
Link to Jayna's website: insyncim.com