Lates News

    • Gary's Final CD


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    • Shades of Gray

      Artists: Gary Gray / clarineto Judith Farmer / bassoon Joanne Pearce Martin / piano Adam...

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    • Teaching

      Mr. Gray was appointed Full Professor in Clarinet in the UCLA Music Department in 1993 where he also teaches the...

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    • It's A Woodwind World VIII

      It's A Woodwind World VIII Date Venue Program February 27, 2014 8:00pm Popper Theater of...

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Thank you for stopping by Gary’s website. My beloved husband, master clarinetist and UCLA clarinet professor - Gary Gray passed away on December 12th, 2021 in Los Angeles.

In order to preserve some of Gary’s legacy, I have decided to keep his website up for now. For students teachers and professionals who would like copies of Gary’s unique teaching and phrasing ideas, plus some very informative professional interviews, I have created a group of PDF’s which I will be glad to forward if you contact me at the above email. The phrasing article will also be of interest to other instrumentalists, voice artists and singers. Additionally, you will also find a “work in progress” archive of some of Gary’s more recent and unique work on the website of Professor Barbara Heilmair at https://heilmair-clarinet.com/gary-gray-clarinetists-and-teacher/

From Juliette Gray
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"Shades of Gray," review by Audio Video Club of Atlanta

It's one of those happy occasions when musicians that are equally conversant in jazz and classical get together and discover that they are all neighbors on Serendipity Street. The immediate impulse was the desire of Gary Gray, who plays and teaches the most beautiful sounding clarinet anywhere, to explore the fresh possibilities of blending his reed one - on - one with other instruments . As the project evolved, Gray's friends caught the excitement. The result was seve n works – plus two choice bonus tracks – created and recorded just for this project, to let us hear what sweet music the old licorice stick can make grooving with its pals.

The cornerstones of the main program were , naturally enough, by George Gershwin, t he first composer to show u s what the worlds of classical music and jazz have in common. Three Preludes, with pianist Bill Cun liffe sharing the honors with Gray and his clarinet, get things off in style, two numbers with catchy rhythms enclosing what Gershwin himself termed a "jazz lullaby." Track 7, Rhapsody in Blue, re - unites the two artists in a keenly honed arrangement of the Gershwin classic that includes the famous "clarinet glissando" we are used to hearing at the very opening (actually a trill, followed by a legato 17 - note rising diatonic scale ) and then gradually works the clarinet into an equal role as a melody partner with the piano . W ith delicious results , I might add, as the two instruments weave beguilingly through each other's lines .

Three Short Stories for clarinet and bassoon by Gernot Wolfgang has Gray collaborating with bassoonist Judith Farmer in a heady mix of jazz and Latin American rhythms, from the up - tempo "Uncle Be - Bop" to the coolly lyrical "Rays of Light" in which the instrum ent s drift serenely in their separate grooves, and the n the explosive "Latin Dance." "Twilight" from Hall of Mirrors by Mark Carlson reveals the composer's affection for the songs of the 1930's and 40's. Gray and pianist Joanne Pearce Martin do the poignan t song full justice. Charles Harold Bernstein's Blending for clarinet and violin sets the most difficult task of all, as the composer finds ever more ingenious ways to find common blends for instruments of seemingly low compatibility. As performed by Gray and violinist Adam Korniszewski, it all works so well that the two sound as if they were made for each other.

Though not as well, I should say, as Gray's clarinet and Gary Foster's alto saxophone in Cunliffe's Yin and Yang, a neatly crafted conversation in canon form. As both "Gary's" are equally conversant on each other's reed, we might expect them to pull a swit ch the next time they appear together on the popular " Pacific Serenades." Blue Muse , by jazz great Kenny Burre ll, pairs Gray and Burrell in a dialog that blends the two instruments so intimately , they might be reminiscing in a quiet café somewhere. Cunlif fe's arrangement of Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life has Juliette Gray speaking the lyrics while Cunliffe lays the foundation and Gary Gray adds color support on alto sax. The result brings out the bittersweet depths in the old song, originally written for Duke Ellington. Finally, Gray and pianist colleague Vince Maggio team up in Gray's arrangement of Carlos Antonio Jobim 's ever - fresh standard, Wave. As with the other tracks on this CD, truly superior recorded sound brings out all the fine points in a way that befits intimate music making.

Listen to Gary Gray

2008 Grammys

Gary Gray was the clarinetist with The Grammy Award Orchestra for the 50th Anniversary Show.
February 10, 2008


Click on the photo above to hear Gary play.