Ray Reach is an American pianist, vocalist and educator. He serves as Director of Student Jazz Programs for the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, director of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars and President and CEO of Ray Reach Musicand Magic City Music Productions.
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He has performed and recorded in various genres, including pop, R & B, Motown/soul, gospel, rock, classic rock, country (contemporary and traditional), contemporary Christian, classical and jazz music, and perhaps best known for his work in the jazz idiom, combining straight-ahead jazz piano stylings with Sinatra-style vocals. He resides in Birmingham, Alabama.
Reach is a member of several active performing and recording groups, including the Magic City Jazz Orchestra (of which he is the founding director), the Ray Reach Orchestra, the Night Flight Big Band and Cleveland Eaton and the Alabama Allstars. He leads his own group, Ray Reach and Friends, and is a former member of the SuperJazz Big Band (formerly UAB SuperJazz), which was the first performing musical ensemble connected with the UAB Department of Music. He has performed with and arranged for numerous notable jazz and pop musicians and ensembles, including Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack Sheldon, Mike Williams (lead trumpeter for the Count Basie Orchestra), Leonard Candelaria (classical trumpeter and educator), singer Al Jarreau, singer Natalie Cole, Lou Marini, Ellis Marsalis, Cleveland Eaton, vibraphonist Gary Burton, vibraphonist / drummer Chuck Redd, Mundell Lowe, Lloyd Wells, Bill Goodwin], Danny Gottlieb, Lew Soloff, Birch Johnson, Jonathan Butler, Jack Petersen, Galen Jeter's Dallas Jazz Orchestra, The Auburn Knights Orchestra, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, Ladies' Night Out, vocalist Kathy Kosin, the Temptations Review, featuring Dennis Edwards and Chaka Khan with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.
During his seven years as director of the UAB Jazz Ensemble (1998–2005), Reach wrote a large percentage of the music that the band played, including 147 big band arrangements and numerous others for vocal groups and jazz combos. His catalog of arrangements and compositions numbers over a thousand pieces, including arrangements for solo jazz piano, jazz duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, nonet and big band, as well as string quartet, choral ensembles and piano plus string quartet.
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