jay gavan

Jay Gavan is one of the guitarists with Guitar UP!, a surf-rock band he founded with his brother, guitarist Shawn Gavan, seven years ago. This summer they released their first full-length album, Western Pacificwhich will be available at their concert Friday night, Aug 23,  at Old Dog Tavern. Joining them in the group are bassist Mark Duval and drummer Bryan Heany

Jay Gavan says his interest in surf rock was formed as a kid when his older brother was learning guitar from an instructor who loved The Ventures. Over the years they pursued different musical paths, but would jam on surf rock tunes when they got together for family gatherings. The 12 original tunes on the new album were written by Jay and Shawn as well as drummer Bryan Heany. They reflect influences from spaghetti Westerns, James Bond soundtracks, as well as Michigan landmarks like the Mystery Spot in St. Ignace and the Straits of Mackinac. 


Mike Broyles, RUFramed Photography

On Sunday, July 28, beginning at 1 pm, nine Kalamazoo Academy of Rock bands will take turns entertaining a crowd in the Old Dog Tavern's outdoor beer garden for their 10th anniversary concert. Cara Lieurance talks to KAR general manager Bob Wallis and two young musicians enrolled in KAR - Kirsten Nelson (guitar, vocals, bass, drums) and Gordie Jennings (keyboards, vocals) - about how the academy gets kids started on the rock & roll path while teaching them valuable lessons about working with others, time management, self-discipline, and more. 

Along with the nine current KAR bands, the celebration will also include an 8-member alumni band, and a surprise mystery guest who will appear on Sunday. The celebration is expect to last until around 8 pm.


Jay Gavan/Robert Shimmin

If you follow music in Kalamazoo, you might recognize Jay Gavan’s name from any one of several prominent local bands.