BIO - short

Ray Lyon is a North Carolina based jazz and ambient composer, keyboardist, and record producer.  Born in 1957 in Newport News, Virginia, Ray began playing piano when he was six years old.  Raised in England and south Florida, he now resides in Waynesville, a small town near Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina. His music has been described as soaring, brilliant, atmospheric and uplifting; and is a fresh take on the concept and possibilities of the smooth and straight ahead jazz genre.  

As a youth, Ray studied classical piano with the renowned Argentinean concert pianist Raul Spivak.  He also studied jazz piano with Vince Maggio (University of Miami) and Chuck Marohnic (Florida Atlantic University).  Ray studied music at Palm Beach Community College (Lake Worth, FL), Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), University of Miami (FL), and Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL) where he graduated in 1982 with a B.F.A. in Music (jazz arranging and composition).    

Before moving to North Carolina in 2002, Ray worked and performed on the south Florida music scene for many years.  He was a member of guitarist Randy Bernsen's Ocean Sound Band and recorded on three of his albums along with jazz luminaries Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock. Ray has also performed with jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, saxophonist Ed Calle, and flautist Nestor Torres.  

Trinity One is Ray’s fifth release on his own label, Burning Blue Records. The project delivers a melodically diverse anthology of jazz instrumentals that are highly listenable, yet advanced in form and execution. The songs convey, in a storytelling manner, the inner emotions and spiritual underpinnings that have always driven Ray's music.  Featuring the renowned talents of bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Bill Berg, the trio’s synergistic chemistry is immediately evident as they journey through a collection of Ray's originals, along with a well-placed and prescient cover of the Miles Davis gem, “Solar (Flare)".     

Previous jazz releases on Burning Blue Records include his debut album Farewell To Shadowlands (1993), Figures Of The True (2000), Beginning To See (2007) and the ambient based Lucid Dreaming in (2009).    

Ray also owns and operates Balsam Pillow Studio, and is an accomplished recording engineer having self-produced all of his music as well as recording and producing outside projects for many others since 1980.  In addition to promoting Trinity One, he is composing works for a new ambient project and completing an earlier collection of compositions for a future jazz project.

photos courtesy of Chris Pruett

photos courtesy of Chris Pruett