Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Piano, Drums, Music Tech
Growing up in Amesbury, MA with parents who were avid music fans, Ray’s early memories include sitting in at concerts with musical greats including BB King, Buddy Guy, Phil Lesh, and George Clinton. In high school, Ray’s music teacher invited him to sit in at gigs and music clubs where he developed insight into the world of professional musicians and performance.
In high school Ray studied privately at The Music Suite and then the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he studied under an astounding array of talented musicians, including Grammy-winning classical guitarist and composer Apostolos Paraskevas, jazz fusion guitarist Dave Fuzinski of Screaming Headless Torsos, and Stewart Copeland of The Police.
Ray’s artistry and teaching reflect a broad range of musical influences, including American blues, funk, soul & jazz artists, as well as many Latin American and African High Life artists such as Lionel Loueke, James Brown, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Miles Davis, Ebo Taylor, and Fela Kuti.
Perhaps the most influential is Charles Mingus. “He came up in a time when jazz was so structured and sometimes tethered by the rules and conventions of what music was supposed to be,” Ray notes. “Although he had an amazing command of these conventions of musical theory, composition and orchestration, his driving force seemed to be to constantly push those boundaries and explore new avenues of musical expression and what jazz music could be.”
As a professional musician, Ray has shared the stage with several of his musical heroes including George Clinton, The Wailers, and Jimmy Cliff, and has been honored to perform privately for a member of the British royal family.