Born: August 3, 1948
RAY REACH - Pianist / Vocalist / Guitarist / Arranger / Composer / Producer / Educator
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A NEW RECORDING IN THE WORKS BY MAGIC CITY JAZZ ORCHESTRA!
Ray Reach recently announced (January, 2010) that he has begun work on a new CD by the MCJO, titled Spinning Wheel - The Magic CIty Jazz Orchestra plays the music of Blood, Sweat and Tears. The recording will feature several of the former members of BS&T as soloists, including Lou Marini, Lew Soloff and Tom Malone, among others.
As a practicing professional musician of some 45+ years, Raymond E. Reach (or just plain Ray, as he prefers to be called) lives an unusually diverse musical life. Ray has kept both feet firmly planted in two musical worlds - always having one foot in academia and the other in what he calls the real world of professional music. He is one of the premier in-demand jazz pianist / vocalists in the Southeast, having carved himself a niche, doing straight ahead jazz piano coupled with Sinatra-style vocals. As an educator, he is equally adept. From September 1998 until August 2005, Ray was Instructor of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where he taught music technology and directed the UAB Jazz Ensemble. He is currently Director of Student Jazz Programs at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (www.jazzhall.com), and is the creator and director of the Fun With Jazz educational program, which originated through the auspices of the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts, and is now offered by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. In addition, Ray produces jazz and classical recordings and directs the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, a recording and concert Big Band composed of some of the best jazz players Alabama has to offer. Ray has performed with and arranged for numerous notable musicians, including Clark Terry, Leonard Candelaria, Ken Watters, Lou Marini, Ernie Watts, Dizzy Gillespie, Ellis Marsalis, Cleveland Eaton, Chuck Redd, Mundell Lowe, Bill Goodwin, Lew Soloff and Chaka Khan with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. He has been a regular featured musician at the annual W. C. Handy Festival in Florence, Alabama (www.wchandyfest.com) since 2003, and is also a faculty member of the W.C. Handy Jazz Camp....
AwardsRaymond Hubble Music Scholarship
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Ray holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. In addition, he studied composition on the Master's level at the University of Alabama, under Dr. Fred Goossen and Steve Sample. He teaches private lessons in piano, voice, music theory and composition in his home and at Art's music Shop in Birmingham, Alabama (Phone: 205-995-8376). Ray's two newest challanges are 1) developing the educational offerings at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and 2) presenting jazz educational concerts and workshops in schools and various oither venues. Both of these educational presentations are offered free of charge to the recipients. At the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, he is in charge of assembling a faculty of jazz professionals and writing a jazz curriculum to be used in the tuition-free "Saturday Jazz Classes." This same jazz faculty is currently touring schools and organizations, presenting a series of Concert / Workshops entitled "Fun With Jazz." The Fun With Jazz program began under the sponsorship of the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, and is now administered by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. For more information about the "Saturday Jazz Classes," go to www.jazzhall.com. For more information about "Fun With Jazz," call the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame at 205-254-2731.
Ray Reach is the creator of the "Fun With Jazz" series of jazz workshops which are presented in schools, libraries and for civic organizations. The series was originally sponsored by the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is now sponsored by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. In addition, Ray presents workshops on "Building the Jazz Rhythm Section," "Jazz Improvisation" and Jazz History." His Jazz Classes are presented every Saturday at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame from 9:00am until 1:00pm. These classes are free to any resident of the state of Alabama.