Ray Reach and Friends
Ray Reach and Friends is a professional musical group, ranging in size from trio to nonette, directed by pianist / vocalist Ray Reach. Specializing in jazz, classic rhythm and blues and soul music, classic rock and Sinatra-style vocals, the group features some of the finest jazz / pop musicians in Alabama, including: Chris Wendle (bass), Robert Dickson (bass), Cleveland Eaton (bass) or Abe Becker (bass), Steve Ramos (drums), Sonny Harris (drums) or John Nuckols (drums), Tommy Stewart (trumpet), Omari Thomas (trumpet), Ken Watters (trumpet), Dave Amaral (saxophones), Gary Wheat (saxophones), Dave Miller (saxophone and chromatic harmonica), Chad Fisher (trombone) and Carlos Pino, Tom Wolfe or Mark Kimbrell on guitar. This popular group plays for concerts, jazz festivals and other events all over the Southeast, including Birmingham's City Stages and the Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival, and the W. C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Alabama.
In January 2008, Ray appeared as guest artist with the Howard Paul Trio at the well-known Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
On March 20, 2008, Ray was invited by Chuck Leishman, publisher of Birmingham Weekly, to direct the house band at the 2008 Birmingham Area Music Awards (the "BAMA" awards). The house band, known as The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars, played behind noted BAMA Award recipients Chuck Leavell and Peter Wolf.
From July 20 through July 26, 2008, Ray Reach & Friends performed at the W. C. Handy Music Festival, with well-known jazz players such as guitarist Mundell Lowe, drummer Bill Goodwin, trumpeter Ken Watters, guitarist Lloyd Wells and saxophonists Kelley O'Neal and Rick Bell. This was Ray's sixth year to perform at the W. C. Handy Festival, which this year hosted almost 300 events in a 7 day period.
On September 27, 2008, Ray Reach & Friends, with saxophonist Gary Wheat, drummer Steve Ramos, and former Count Basie bassist Cleveland Eaton, with guest, New York trumpeter Lew Soloff, appeared at the Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival in Birmingham.
From July 19 through July 25, 2009, Ray appeared at the W. C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Alabama, sharing the stage with Bill Goodwin, Rick Bell, Sonny Harris, Ken Watters, Jim Ferguson, Mundell Lowe and others.
- Ray Reach and Friends (1994) Especially For You. Magic City Music (CD Baby)
- Ray Reach and Friends (2005) Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas. Magic City Music (CD Baby)
- Peter Wolf and the BAMA Awards. Birmingham Weekly
- Ray Reach Music at MySpace.com
- Ray Reach and Friends at MySpace.com
- CD, "Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas" at MySpace.com
- Interview with Ray Reach on "Tapestry" on WBHM Radio, Birmingham, AL
- Ray Reach and Friends on Youtube.com