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. Jay Stetzer - Stories from the Heart News

About Jay

I spent my early youth in a section of Pittsburgh known as Homestead Park, the outermost region of the "steel capital of the world" and the furthest that the post-World War II suburbs had sprawled. My house stood on Briarly Lane, a dirt road that separated "modern living" from the "olden days." My side of the road was covered with new housing developments, complete with electricity, telephones, and indoor plumbing. Crossing Briarly Lane, however, brought you to the world of farms, fields, barns, wood stoves, kerosene lamps, pump organs, and (naturally) outhouses. My maternal grandparents lived on this side of the lane.

Many of my childhood stories have their genesis in this setting.

I grew up in a busy household. In addition to my nine brothers and sisters, my paternal grandmother and uncle lived with my family. Everybody told stories. Stories passed the time, they entertained, they taught lessons, they brought history to life, they introduced a world beyond the local neighborhood. Telling stories was the most natural thing to do... so natural, in fact, that it never occurred to me that someday it would actually become a career.

My Vita


Click here for a list of my performances and other credits.

My love of stories was matched by my love of music. I spent hours teaching myself to play the piano, and early-on I established myself as a successful jazz pianist. This ultimately led me to the Eastman School of Music for undergraduate and graduate study. While in Rochester I discovered modern dance through Garth Fagan, and the art of pantomime through Bob Berky. Eventually, my interests in the creative arts came together at the esteemed Harley School, where I established a multifaceted performing arts program for elementary children.

All the while, I told stories... to my siblings and friends, to my own children, to my students and colleagues. I particularly enjoyed stories that involved my listeners and stories from contemporary culture. Then, in 1976, I received a call from a local library asking me to do an evening storytelling performance. I never thought I had anything to perform until the librarian reminded me of stories she had heard me tell my students. Her encouragement was compelling enough for me to give it a try. That's how it all started.

Since that time, I have performed in countless venues throughout the US, Canada, and Japan. I have appeared with orchestras as well, blending story and music -- my two great loves -- into a thrilling concert for family audiences. My stories can also be heard daily on two radio stations in Rochester, NY, where I have made my home since 1966.

I and Maura

"A good story will always carry a meaningful message, something of value that can be employed in the listener's daily life. My job is not to point that meaning out, but to simply tell the story. Then the listener can discover what he or she can take from the tale and cherish as life goes on."

When I am not performing, I spend my time writing, recording, gardening, cooking, biking, swimming, and traveling with the love of my life, Maura, my beloved wife.

All in a Story Productions .

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