Join us for a special night of jazz as these two masterful musicians combine their talents for your entertainment pleasure.
William Bares completed his PhD in ethnomusicology in 2009 at Harvard University under the mentorship of Ingrid Monson, Harvard’s Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music. He is currently teaching jazz harmony and improvisation at Harvard and working on a book entitledEternal Triangle: American Jazz in European Postmodern. His scholarly career has been devoted to refining a framework for the study of historical and contemporary transatlantic jazz. This website is a reflection of his evolving interdisciplinary and international perspective.
He is also a bandleader and multi-instrumentalist (piano, trumpet, drums, guitar, ukulele) who has played professionally for many years. Much of his performing has taken place overseas, where he has shared stages with some of the biggest young stars of the European jazz scene. He continues to maintain strong musical connections to Berlin and Oslo, where he did extensive fieldwork; Omaha, his hometown; Miami, where pursued his Master’s degree from 1996-1999; Boston, where he also directed Harvard’s graduate school big band for several years; and New York, his current residence.
As a scholar, and in dialogue with the Harvard Group for New Music (HGNM), Bares continues to probe the boundaries between composition and improvisation. Inspired equally by jazz, minimalism, and African akadinda and balafon music, he has explored ways to integrate shifting improvised right and left-hand ostinatos into his solo and group playing. This technique can be heard in his live recording Evanescent, which was featured in an hour-long program entitled “New Music at Harvard” on German public radio (Deutschlandfunk).
Justin Ray has been a professional musician for almost 20 years. While attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he began to earn a reputation as a fiery and compelling trumpet soloist, comfortable in a wide variety of styles. After finishing his degree, Ray relocated to Los Angeles and quickly became one of the most in demand musicians in the region. He performed regularly with jazz legends like drummers Dave Weckl and Peter Erskine, vocalist Kurt Elling, pianists Bill Cunliffe and Alan Pasqua, and a host of others
. In 2003, Ray accepted an offer from Warner Bros. recording artist Michael Buble to join his group. Ray has lent his musical talents to Buble in a number of ways ever since, as an instrumentalist, composer, arranger, etc. He has toured 45 countries, appeared on Grammy-winning recordings, and has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world, such as Madison Square Garden, the Sydney Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. Ray has also made a number of TV appearances, including multiple performances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Saturday Night Live.
Ray has recorded three records under his own name. The first is a self-titled collection of his hard-bop tinged originals. His next, “Love Songs”, is a combination of jazz and beatnik-style poetry featuring works from artists as diverse as Allen Ginsberg and Star Trek’s Commander Data. The third, “Evil Man Blues” (which will be release September 18th, 2015 at Evil Man Blues CD/DVD Release Party) features Ray both as trumpeter and vocalist on a collection of jazz standards.