Clay Ross Clay Ross

Brooklyn based guitarist and composer Clay Ross is carving a unique niche for himself on the international music scene. His passion for music has taken him far from his South Carolina Roots and lead him to embrace influences from around the world. He has toured extensively as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador and as a member of Cyro Baptista’s world renowned percussion ensemble “Beat the Donkey.” With his new group, “Matuto,” Clay mixes the best of bluegrass and baiao for a sound like a carnival in the Appalachian mountains.

After studying classical composition at the College of Charleston, Clay became an integral part of the South Carolina jazz scene. Mixing elements of rock, blues, bluegrass, and funk, his original groups were highly praised in the local press and popular on the regional club circuit. With his bands “Otus,” “Gradual Lean,” and “Mickey Baker Project,” Clay developed his chops and shared the stage with national acts passing through.

After a brief move to Paris, and a few memorable performances in the Pigalle Squats, Clay moved to NYC in 2002. There, he honed his skills with the city’s most amazing young talents. He recorded and released the jazz quartet album “The Random Puller,” which featured nine original compositions. The album met with critical praise and won Ross invitations to perform internationally at clubs and concert halls in Rio De Janeiro, Istanbul, and Milan. It also helped him to secure regular performances at established NYC venues such as 55bar, Barbes, The Bar Next Door, and The Stone.

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Album Reviews
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“Clay has a passionate, unique and personal voice that awakens feelings in audiences. On the improvisational side, he has listened to the greatest of those who are speaking, and this adds to his own distinct voice: a sweet, sometimes melancholic, but always precise one. Yet he allows his group to go free whenever they feel the urge and we eventually lose his sound into the whole of it. This is why it is so sweet.” —

“Sly, subtle wit colors his guitar style: playful and humorous but deeply complex.” —

“Clay Ross thinks like a Poet, writes like a Novelist and plays the guitar like a Master.” —Jammed Online

“A solid debut from a talented player and composer

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