Jay Stermer Killed by Drunk Driver


Jay Stermer, founding member and keyboardist/arranger for the Admirals, was killed by a drunk driver while walking his dogs just after midnight on Saturday, December 23, 2017. He was killed when a rear-ended car was flung into him. Jay was 74 years old.


Jay Stermer, a Wellington High School parent who plays music and sound effects during Wolverine baseball games, is seen in 2008. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach Post news story.

To the best of my knowledge there was not another musician out of the Baltimore band scene of the 1960s who was more well known and more respected than Jay Stermer.

I never knew Jay personally, but I knew who he was from the time I was in Jr. High School. I can only speak to his reputation — I’ll leave it to those who knew him to comment — but that reputation was one of a driving musical force behind arguably the most successful and popular band to come out of that era of Baltimore music.

For me, personally … when I was about 12 years old I saw the Admirals at their regular Sunday gig at Beaver Springs. They were up in the loft of the pavilion playing music everyone wanted to hear, in the way everyone wanted to hear it, and having a lot of fun doing it. My desire to “play in a band” came straight from the Admirals that day.

It’s all the more sad to lose Jay in this tragic way.



4 Responses to “Jay Stermer Killed by Drunk Driver”

  1. Justin L. Says:

    Jay’s arrangements were always several steps above what everyone else was doing. I was fortunate to be exposed to Jay’s work early in my life and used the knowledge gained from his work to successfully arrange for my own group of 20+ years and am still going. Much respect to Jay and Rest In Peace.

  2. Craig Bradenbaugh Says:

    I was an original member and one of the starters of the Admirals. Jay was a good friend and in my wedding in 1964. I played sax, guiatar and sang. Really sad to hear this.

  3. Barbara Riehl Says:

    To view an Admirals instrumental featuring Jay on his arrangement and the keyboards, click on the link https://youtu.be/noeNYdOiq5o..There are more tribute videos in memory members of The Admirals Band as well as other Maryland musicians on the youtube channel recaprealmusicforu I was in the Admirals for 15 years and this news is heartbreaking.

  4. John Sankonis Says:

    RIP Jay…

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