Michael Ray

Michael Ray, trumpet and voice

Originally from Trenton, New Jersey, Michael Ray's three decade professional resume includes early stints with the likes of Patti LaBelle, The Delfonics and the Stylistics. Ray's affiliation with Sun Ra's Intergalactic Arkestra began in 1978. He toured and recorded with Sun Ra performing on and producing nearly two dozen albums internationally with the Jazz Hall of Fame keyboardist that led the # 1 Big Band on the planet (Downbeat's international Critic's Poll) for more than a dozen years. Sun Ra designated Ray his "Intergalactic Research Tone Scientist," featuring him on trumpet and vocals. Ray appears on Sun Ra albums on Saturn Records and on CDs released by Evidence, Enja, HatHut, Rounder, Black Saint, Horo, A& M, Philly Jazz and ESP labels. Ray also mixed the critically acclaimed Mayan Temples, Sun Ra's last studio session (Black Saint/Italy-1992).

Michael Ray is also recognized as a member of the front line for Kool & the Gang, the top selling jazzy R&B group of the 1980's. Ray danced, sang, played trumpet and assisted with writing and producing seven platinum/gold albums and seven Top 10 hits for the group, winning dozens of awards and a Grammy nomination. Ray continues to perform with this solid group in both the U. S. and overseas.

Ray moved to New Orleans in 1989 where he is now considered a star of both funk and jazz. In addition to concerts, he creates innovative multi-arts collaborations focusing on sound and color that utilize original jazz compositions, neon set installations, dance and poetry. His Neon-Sound Performance concept won a regional arts award in 1993 (National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller and Andy Warhol Foundations).

Michael Ray continues to perform with the Sun Ra Arkestra and has appeared with rock-phenom PHISH, live and on two Elektra recordings (Phish, A Live One & Trey Anastasio's Surrender to the Air). He recently worked on a PBS soundtrack for producer Delfeayo Marsalis and appears on recordings of Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and avant rockers Iris May Tango. He has made special appearances with many popular groups including Aquarium Rescue Unit, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Widespread Panic, Porno for Pyros, Col. Bruce Hampton and Deep Banana Blackout.

Bio extracted from Michael Ray's website www.cosmickrewe.com