Portrait of a male figure in a golden jacket.

Matt Ray © Amy Touchette

Matt Ray

Matt Ray is a Brooklyn-based pianist, singer, songwriter, arranger, and music director. His arrangements have been called “wizardly” (Time Out NY) and “ingenious” (NY Times), and his piano playing referred to as “classic, well-oiled swing” (NY Times) and “to cry for” (Ebony). For his work on Taylor Mac’s show “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” he and Mac shared the 2017 Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired By American History. Notable live performances include playing at Carnegie Hall with Kat Edmonson, headlining his own show at Lincoln Center, playing the Hollywood Bowl with reggae legend Burning Spear, and touring the Caribbean and Central America with his piano trio as a US Department of State Jazz Ambassador. Other work includes music directing “The Billie Holiday Project” at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, penning a string and piano arrangement for the fifth season finale of Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie”, music directing for Justin Vivian Bond, performing with Joey Arias, a month of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe with Lady Rizo, music directing Taylor Mac’s Obie award winning play “The Lily’s Revenge” at the HERE Arts Center in New York, and co-writing songs for and performing in Bridget Everett’s one-hour Comedy Central special “Gynecological Wonder” as well as Everett’s hit show “Rock Bottom”. Matt has released two jazz albums as a leader: “We Got It!” (2001) and “Lost In New York” (2006); and one album of original pop/folk material called “Songs For the Anonymous” (2013). His show “Matt Ray Plays Hoagy Carmichael featuring Kat Edmonson” premiered at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series in 2018. He and Taylor Mac’s jazzbased theater piece “The Hang” opened to rave reviews in January of 2022 and won Ray a 2023 Obie Award for Music Direction and Composition.

As of: February 2024

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