is a singer- songwriter from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario currently residing in Toronto, Canada. He performs primarily throughout North America to over 100 shows a year. An acoustic guitar player and singer he is known for his rich lyrical content and engaging live performances. His songs cover themes central to everyday life and he cites the influence of the touring lifestyle as his primary source of inspiration.
He released his first studio album in 1996 and has since released four more studio albums and one live album accompanied by a book of short stories.
His album Halfway Home garnered a 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Best Emerging Artist. He followed this success with Passing Through (2011), a folk blues hybrid record. 2013 saw the release of a traditional acoustic roots album entitled Overtime (2013) exploring familiar themes of love, loss, spirituality and the troubadour lifestyle.
In 2015 Aymar released a book of short stories entitled: The Chicken Came First (and other half-truths of my life as a touring songwriter). The short stories originally appeared on his site under the banner: Road Stories.
The Chicken Came First Book / LIve CD review. Veteran CBC broadcaster, reviewer Bob Mersereau.
“Talk about your extensive liner notes! Aymar’s latest, a live one, doesn’t have a booklet, it has a book. Yes, a real, full-length, full-sized book. Actually, it’s more of a case of the book also including a CD, but whatever. It’s the best way to take in everything Aymar does. He’s a storyteller, writing, singing, or in person.
As a songwriter, Aymar shines best when he's telling you tales soaked in big truths. He's learned these the hard way, touring the country endlessly, playing off the beaten path on purpose, and finding the best people that way. In fact, he's even given up any idea of a home, other than the road. He's become the modern troubadour, at home everywhere and nowhere officially.
With the book, you get even more insight into what makes him tick, and what Canada is about. When Aymar inevitably runs into a deer on the highway, a series of great-hearted people come to his aid, just because they are decent, and because they are in a position to help. We drop into every province and territory with him, and start to understand what it is that drives Aymar and his fellow touring musicians to keep going, to bring their talents to the people who appreciate them."
August, 18. 2016 Bob Merseareau's Top 100
NEW ALBUM FOR 2018
Aymar is currently in the studio recording his latest full length studio album entitled Your Perfect Matador. A collection of what he refers to as 'deeply personal love songs.' Recorded in Toronto's Union Studios with producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda this promises to deliver Aymar's biggest vision yet.
"This is the album I've long wanted to create. There is an intentional cinematic feel to this record. From the moment I arrive to her graffiti filled village to the moment it fades into the rear view. From hope to pain and back again. It's all here.
Working with a world class producer like Michael has been an extremely rewarding experience. He has a gift for putting the artist at ease and drawing out the inner musical vision. Or as he puts it: "coaxing performances out of fragile egos" I love that. It really does sum it up.
Musically I wanted to rock out a bit more as I felt these songs required an edgier feel. The band consists of Champagne James Robertson on lead electric guitar, Robbie Grunwald on keys, Devon Henderson on bass, Michael on drums and myself on rhythm guitar and lead vocals.. Add to that three of my favourite artists/vocalists/friends (Chloe Charles, Alejandra Ribera and Shakura S'aida) and string arrangements by the legendary Drew Jurecka. How can a guy go wrong with a combo like that? We expect to have it ready for Canadian release in the Fall of 2018."
ASSORTED REVIEWS FROM PREVIOUS RELEASES
"This alone should elevate Jay Aymar to front and center stage where the likes of John Prine, Randy Newman and all the others I tiresomely mentioned stand. He’s that good."
John Apice, No Depression Magazine USA
“He frequently gets compared to John Prine or Lyle Lovett for his “homemade” songs, but this critic also hears a little of Leonard Cohen in his soft, low-key delivery… (Halfway Home) A good disc for singers to swipe some new songs from and yet another nice effort from Jay Aymar.”-By Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs.
"Aymar is a classic, and Overtime is a knockdown priced master-work."
David Farrell, New Canadian Music
"There is no quibble about raising him to the higher rungs on the steep ladder of Canadian singer-songwriters, not just his contemporaries but of all time."
Doug Swanson (Penguin Eggs Magazine)
"Ontario-based singer-songwriter Aymar sounds something like an amalgamation of Tom Rush, Jesse Winchester and Guy Clark. "This Town Ain't Big Enough" has the Caribbean lilt of Winchester's "I'm Gonna Miss You, Girl," for example, and "All I Know" is broadly reminiscent of his "Defying Gravity." The arrangements have the exquisite blend of stark simplicity and sly sophistication that one associates with the above-named masters.”
Jerome Clark, author, songwriter, music critic, Rambles Magazine USA
"Jay has written a true Canadian folk song. It's a classic. My Cherry Coloured Rose." Ian Tyson