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Ray LeVier

I started playing drums when I was eleven years old. I learned 2 or 3 beats from a friend down the street who had just started drum lessons. No sooner did I even get a grip on playing a simple 2 and 4 groove, I had the unfortunate event of getting severely burned in a terrible camping accident (full story). After this happened to me doctors were saying I was going to die and when I didn't, I felt that I had a second chance on life and if I survived being burned, becoming a professional drummer would be a walk in the park compared to what I endured in the hospital.

Professional drummer Ray Levier is a veritable Swiss Army Knife on the kit, facile at finessing jazz-fusion grooves, swinging a jazz combo, laying down rugged hip-hop beats and nasty funk, accompanying singer-songwriters with subtle grace, and bashing away at rock beats with panache and precision.

As a career musician, Ray is in an in-demand sideman who also divides his time with teaching, clinics, and speaking dates; and composing for film and TV. When he’s not hard at work in one or more of these outlets, Ray can be found woodshedding his chops, or composing for his solo career.

“You always have to be ready to adapt; sometimes on the spot, just like a chameleon,” Ray says. “You also have to be an intuitive person and get out of your way to really understand who the artist is as a person and what they want. You have to be well-versed in many styles, and you have to work really hard because there’s always someone behind you lined up ready waiting for your gig.

The Nyack, New York-based artist has had the rare feat of being a sideman to urban folk and jazz artist KJ Denhert for 20 years. He’s the co-producer and co-founder of a successful music production company, composing TV tracks for such esteemed networks as TLC, Discovery, FOX Sports, CBS, NBC, History Channel, National Geographic, and the Oxygen Network. In this realm, Ray fields a diverse barrage of TV cues, and intuitively composes music that strongly translates in the audiovisual medium. He conducts this work, and live drum track sessions for other artists, at his state-of-the-art professional production recording studio 30 minutes from Manhattan. In addition, Ray has earned endorsements from Yamaha, Paiste, Vater and Evans.

Ray has also recorded with jazz fusion icons guitarists Mike Stern and John Abercrombie. Ray attended William Patterson College’s prestigious music program headed by legendary bassist Rufus Reid. He has studied with such heavyweights as Keith Crane, Sal LaRocca, Adam Nussbaum, Dom Famularo, John Riley, Jojo Meyer, Lenny White, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Horace Arnold, Kenny Washington, Tommy Campbell and Kim Plainfield.

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Album Review

Ray Levier: Ray's Way

Read "Ray's Way" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

If drumming is the subatomic glue that holds a jazz performance together, then Ray Levier is the Einstein of jazz drumming. On his debut recording, Ray's Way, Levier provides a veritable masters class on the seamless and relative incorporation of drums into the melody of a song. Add to this that Idit Shner joins Levier in redefining the blues in jazz and Ray's Way becomes that much more provocative.

Levier bills himself as a freelance drummer in and around New ...

Album Review

Ray Levier: Ray's Way

Read "Ray's Way" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

New York-based drummer Ray Levier contends for debut CD of the year with Ray's Way. He's assembled an all-star cast, including two of the finest guitarists plying the six string trade: John Abercrombie and Mike Stern, on five and four cuts respectively.Levier's drumming has a “serve the music" approach that can be subtle or assertive, and often quite rock-influenced, as on the Mike Stern-penned “You Never Know," a tune that recalls Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits' mid-'80s “I ...

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Drummer Ray Levier’s Jazz Fusion 'Wig Glue' Is A Testament To Perseverance And Overcoming Obstacles - Single Release Show At The Bitter End On June 20th

Drummer Ray Levier’s Jazz Fusion 'Wig Glue' Is A Testament To Perseverance And Overcoming Obstacles - Single Release Show At The Bitter End On June 20th

Source: Cyber PR

Professional drummer and in demand side man, Ray Levier, just released his most poignant and personal track to date. His jazz funk fusion track “Wig Glue" is a spirited and groove-filled composition that pays homage to the resilience and determination of legendary guitarist Mike Stern, the multiple Grammy-nominated guitarist, a former member of Miles Davis’ band during the early 1980s and subsequent member of Miles Davis, Steps Ahead, Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouth and The Brecker Brothers. The backstory behind ...




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Wig Glue (Single)

Self Produced


Ray's Way

Origin Records




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