David Ray Music

My passion lies in deep musical rhythms with tonal contrast and richness. Whether performing, arranging, or producing others' music, I strive to make the music touch my soul.

The music spans many styles, primarily traditional and contemporary North American folk, folklore music of Venezuela and Brazil, and Latin Jazz.

My recent performances include classical guitar adaptations in Brazilian choro, Venezuelan joropo and merengue, and contemporary classical guitar mixed with modern rhythms. I occasionally include a foray of string instruments such as mandolin and Venezuelan bandola Llanera.

I hope that my spin on these styles offers an enjoyable and interesting new perspective.


"David [has a] well-studied mastery of South American musical territory... a romantic's ear for melody... with aggressive and passionate picking."
        -- Monterey Coast Weekly

"David Ray is an exciting, thoughtful player who brings great craft and insight to his music... He immediately steps into the foremost ranks of jazz and Latin-based mandolinists."
        -- Mandolin Magazine

"Many people have recorded my song 'Misturada' throughout the last thirty years, but I am happy to tell you that your recording is one of the most unique and 'happening' that I have heard. Your entire CD is a pleasure to listen to. Flora and I have been enjoying everything, specially the chorinhos."
        -- Airto Moreira


Current Projects

Venezuelan folklore: A growing project for the last few years. Includes some of my original guitar arrangements of traditional folklore. Solo and with guest players.

Electronic jazz: a wide range of material centered around Latin Jazz and performed on classical guitar, with live and electronic backing rhythms.

Recent projects

Engineer, mixer, co-producer, The Tea Sippers "The Kettle is On", 2009
    Winner of the 2010 "Best Old-Time CD of the Year" by the Rural Roots Society of the IBMA

Guitarist and backing vocalist, Shimshai, 2005-2007

Mandolinist and band leader, David Ray Band, a 5-piece contemporary Latin Jazz ensemble, 2002-2004

Guitarist and Cuatro player, Cuyuy, South-American folk band, Sonoma County, CA 2001-2004

Guitarist and Mandolinist, Tom Edwards Duo, a guitar and mandolin Latin Jazz duo, Sonoma County, CA 2001-2004