Baton Rouge, LA native T-Ray the Violinist has been stringing together perfection for what seems to be the foundation of a legendary career. T-Ray began playing the violin at the tender age of 8 and later picked up the trumpet in middle school, but quickly found his way back to the violin in high school after being inspired by contemporary violinist Michael Ward.
“Listening to Michael Ward’s album was life-changing. I couldn’t even fully comprehend what I was hearing, automatically expecting classical music to escape my speakers. Instead I heard contemporary Jazz on the violin. Songs that I knew the words to were coming from an instrument I never even considered could produce them. That’s when it all clicked.”
In tune with his purpose and ignited by his passion, T-Ray set out to master his first love, the violin. After attending New Orleans Center of Creative Arts (NOCCA), he received a full scholarship in Jazz Studies to The University of New Orleans. Upon graduating from college with a degree in Music Education, he began teaching string instruments in the Public School System. He also signed on to work with Make Music NOLA, a tuition free program based in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.
Consistently gigging, T-Ray quickly learned that when you leave it all on the stage, encores and more are eminent. Juggling teaching and performing rapidly became too much, as T-Ray’s fan base continued to grow. In May of 2014, the multi-genre violinist made the decision to become a full time artist on a mission to make his dreams a reality.
A mission T-Ray did not take lightly curating his first tour “The Make a Way Tour” in Fall 2014 and completing his European “Fish and Chips Tour” with DJ RQAway as the duo Progressive Existence in Spring 2015. He followed this up with "The House of Dreams Tour" and "T-Ray Takes L.A." in the summer of 2015. In between touring, T-Ray graced the stages of both the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Voodoo Festival.
These performances afforded him the opportunity to work with talents from Atlantic Records, RCA Records, Universal Records and so on, opening for the likes of Wale, DJ Mannie Fresh, Erykah Badu, Dead Prez, David Banner,3DNatee and Curren$y just to name a few. He has also worked with notable homegrown artists such as Dee-1, Big Freedia, Tank and the Bangas, and Waterseed. Additionally, T-Ray has teamed up with a multitude of talents and entities to include Actor/Artist Hill Harper, Sheryl Underwood, Estelle, Jussie Smollett, Con Funk Shun, and Chef G Garvin of the Food Network.
The seasoned player has not only developed himself as a solo artist, but has also honed his skills as a producer and bandleader within his group D2R (Dreams2Reality). T-Ray is a passionate and resilient visionary with an unwavering dedication to his craft. He has taken the violin outside of its stereotypical arena beautifully lacing together 90s RnB, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Funk and Classical. An innovative musical talent, T-Ray the Violinist has taken audiences’ favorite genres and masterfully fused them together to produce an experimental sound like no other.
At the forefront of a new movement, T-Ray has established himself as an artist worth seeing. His sound is incomparable and sure to leave a lasting impression as he continues to use his strings as his truest form of expression!