Gary Gray
clarinet, saxophone



Gary has played curbside with LACurbsideEntertainment.com


Gary started playing clarinet and saxophone at an early age. He went on to study classical clarinet with Robert McGinnis and Henry Gulick, and chamber music with Janos Starker at Indiana University, where he obtained his Master's Degree in Woodwinds. Simultaneously, Gary worked with big bands such as Al Combine and Stan Kenton which solidified his abilities playing jazz on clarinet and saxophone. He also studied clarinet with Mitchell Lurie at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.



Gary was Assistant Principal in the St. Louis Symphony and later won first prize in the San Francisco Symphony Foundation competition. Mr. Gray was formerly Principal Clarinetist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, New York City Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem.



Gary won the first Frank Sinatra Award at UCLA when he was a graduate teaching assistant in 1967 and worked his way up to full professor of clarinet and head of woodwinds. He directed the jazz band at UCLA for 20 years, inviting many prolific soloists including Kenny Burrel, Eddie Daniels, and Bill Watrose.



Concurrently with his teaching and other live playing duties, Gary has been an active member of Hollywood movie orchestras and has played on over 1000 movies and television shows.



Gary also started the Jazz Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival where he taught and performed for over two decades. A highlight at Aspen was playing the Copland Clarinet Concert with Copland's input. His recording of the Copland was nominated for a Grammy award in 1986 and was used extensively as underscoring in the PBS Ken Burns Series THE WAR.



Gary has been an active chamber music artist at festivals in the U.S., England, France and Japan, and has performed with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Mischa Dichter, James Levine, Brooks Smith, Milton Thomas and the Cleveland and Angeles Quartets. He has recorded both solo and chamber music for the Nonesuch, RCA, Laurel and Vox labels, and has five solo CD's currently distributed by Centaur Records and his most recent recording JAZZICAL JOURNEYS is being received with warm enthusiasm from critics and fans alike.
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