Born on 28 May 1934 in Seraikella in Jharkhand, Shri Jai Narayan Samal received his initial training in the Chhau dance of Seraikella under Jugal Kishore Pattanayak. Later, he was a student of Natasekhar Banbihari Pattanayak at the Amino Sahi Akhada.
Shri Samal has distinguished himself both as a dancer and teacher. During the 1960s and '70s he performed widely with in the country as a member of the troupe of the Government Chhau Dance Centre, Seraikella, led by his guru. La ter, he has performed also at prestigious festivals abroad, such as the Mask Dance Festivals in France (1978) and Britain (1985), and programmes at institutions in the United States (1996). Shri Jai Narayan Samal has excelled in items of the Seraikella Chhau repertoire such as Urubhanga, Madhu-Kaitav, Hara-Parvati, Ekalavya , Nagarchi, Sabar, and Dhibar, receiving acclaim from connoisseurs of the art. He has taught dance at the Trinetra Chhau Dance Centre from 1992 to 1995. In 1998, he joined the Acharya Chhau Nrutya Bichitra to train young dancers chosen under Sangeet Natak Akademi's project supporting the Chhau dance of Seraikella. He continues to train artists there under that project.
For his work in the field of Chhau dance, Shri Samal has been honoured with the Kalakar award by the Department of Art, Culture and Youth, Government of Bihar (1996).
Shri Jai Narayan Samal receives th e Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to the Chhau dance of Seraikella.