Jay Sollenberger grew up in McPherson, Kansas, graduating from high school in 1968. He later attended Wichita State University and North Texas State University majoring in music education and performance. While at North Texas in 1970, he played in the internationally famous One O'Clock Lab Band. In 1971 he left school to join a professional rock group, The Flippers. The year 1972 found him playing with a Broadway musical, "Company." In April of 1973 he joined the rock group Chase, recording an album "Pure Music" on the Epic label.
Since high school, Jay had an ambition to play with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Eight years later that goal was achieved and in November of 1974 Jay became a member of the Kenton organization playing second trumpet. In January of 1976, Jay took over the position as lead trumpet until August of 1977. Jay made three recordings with Kenton released on Creative World label: "Kenton 76," "Journey to Capricorn," and "Stan Kenton Live in Europe."
In November 1977 Jay joined the Woody Herman Orchestra playing lead trumpet. Jay has recorded three albums with Woody Herman on the Century Records label: "Road Father," "Flip Phillips and Woody Herman Together," and "Chick, Donald, Walter, and Woodrow."