Larry Gray demonstrates an impressive versatility and an uncommon musical curiosity. His primary teachers were Joseph Guastafeste, longtime principal bassist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and cellist Karl Fruh, a highly regarded soloist and teacher.
Over the years, he has worked with such jazz legends as Bobby Hutcherson, McCoy Tyner, Danilo Perez, and Benny Golson. In addition, he has collaborated with guitarists Kenny Burrell and Joe Pass, as well as drummer Jack DeJohnette, and trumpeters Donald Byrd and Harry “Sweets” Edison, among many others. Larry has performed at jazz festivals and venues throughout the world, including the Umbria Jazz Festival, Johannesburg International Jazz Festival, the Havana Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Rio Sao Paulo Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center, with such jazz luminaries as Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, Frank Wess, and Joe Williams. Larry continues to tour regularly with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Larry Coryell.
Professor Gray is an arranger and composer whose discography includes Solo + Quartet on Premonition Records; Gravity, a solo bass record on Graywater Records; One Look, a trio recording of original compositions; the Ramsey Lewis trio recording Appassionata; the Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson collaborations Meant to Be and Simple Pleasures, and the latest release by the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Time Flies, all on Narada/Virgin Records. Larry has also recorded with Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, Ira Sullivan, Willie Pickens, and Bob Moses. Additionally, Larry’s original composition for double bass and guitar, Five Movements, was commissioned and performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Symphony Center in Chicago.
Larry was the featured bassist in the opera Amistad, produced by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition to his work with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he was principal bass of Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has served as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Larry recently collaborated with choreographer Lauri Stallings and dancers from Hubbard Street Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet, developing an original work for solo double bass and dancers.
Larry is a first-call studio musician, and his playing can be heard on many commercial radio and television jingle and studio projects. He can also be seen on multiple episodes of the current PBS series Legends of Jazz. Larry’s performance calendar can be found at www.larrygraymusic.com.
Read a recent review in the Tribune from a concert with Larry Coryell.