Photographer, Workshop Instructor
Ray’s musical career began by playing trombone at the age of ten following in the tradition of his father and grandfather. Ray’s grandfather played in a marching band under the direction of John Philip Sousa and he started out with the same trombone his grandfather played in that band.
Following graduation from Jeffers High School where he played in the Jazz Band, Ray started his Computer Science studies at Michigan Tech where he played in the Jazz Lab Band under the direction of Don Keranan, the founder of Jazz Studies at the university. Don’s bands during Ray’s tenure won many awards throughout the Midwest and made several trips to Jamaica.
Since graduation, Ray has been employed by D&N Bank, Mead Paper, Strategic Solutions and most recently Calumet Electronics. Keyboards and vocals have taken over for trombone as Ray’s performance instruments. He was a keyboardist and vocalist with Hot Damn, has been a guest keyboardist with The Outlaws and The Whatevers, and was a founding member of the jazz vocal quartet Times Four performing vocal jazz by groups such as Manhatten Transfer, New York Voices, and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. Ray is currently playing keyboards in a new rock/pop band 906 along with fellow Rock Camp instructor Dan Komarzek.
Ray’s musical influences include Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, the vocal jazz groups mentioned above and 80’s rock. His wife would also tell you he is big into sappy 70s’ music, but that’s just a rumor. He owns two vacation rentals with his wife Kriss, lives in Chassell with his wife and daughter Gabrielle Afina (a future Rock Camper), and sings in his church choir where he is also a substitute organist.
Ray will be enjoying his photography hobby by shooting candid photos throughout Rock Camp and helping out with keyboard instruction.