What They Say About Ray LeVier: Testimonials from Colleagues and Teachers about the Drummer, Clinician, Producer, Composer and Teacher
“Whatever I taught him about drumming, Ray taught me more about life. Ray is not just a drummer. He’s a musician. He listens like a musician should listen. He’s not just a technician, although he’s a great player with tremendous chops who will blow most drummers away. Ray plays from the heart and soul. He has the whole package. He gets it!” - Keith Crane, Multi-Instrumentalist, TV & Film Composer, Ray’s First Drum Teacher.
“For anyone to reach the level of Ray’s playing takes a lot of work and Ray had to overcome challenges most players could never imagine. But once he decided he wanted to make drumming and music his life, nothing got in his way. He was really inventive about how to play. Early on he had a glove that he rigged for holding the sticks, but it inhibited him so he had surgeries to help him get more use of his remaining finger stubs. Ray’s amazing. He’s a monster player. I talk about him to my current students all the time. He’s inspiring!” Sal LaRocca, Drummer with the Teddy Wilson Trio, Junior Mance Trio and Drum Teacher who taught Ray.
Incredibly well-versed across music genres!
“I first heard Ray LeVier at the Umbria Jazz Festival inPerugia,ItalyHe was playing with singer/songwriter K.J. Denhert, planting these great R&B grooves. He had a deep pocket and a great feel. When he asked me to join him in the studio, along with John Abercrombie and Francois Moutin, to record his new CD, I realized I had only gotten 50% of the picture. His jazz playing has the same depth and forward motion as his R&B stuff. He’s an exceptionally well-versed musician. At the recording session, he articulated his vision of the music, while trusting the ensemble’s taste and encouraging our ideas. Ray has been through some intense trials in his life. I am consistently impressed with how he has risen above challenges that would have silenced many other musicians, to continue his creative journey – one filled with positivity, beauty, and a whole lot of great rhythm!” - Joe Locke, Internationally-acclaimed Vibraphonist
A great groove!
“Ray has been a member of my band’s core group since 1998. My music is all about the groove – and Ray has a great groove! He brings an amazing life energy to the music and has the flexibility to work seamlessly with the other musicians I bring in to keep things fresh. Ray is a wonderful person and really good to tour with. I feel like he’s my brother.” - Singer/Songwriter K.J. Denhert
Plays music at the highest level!
“Ray’s a remarkable individual – not someone you forget. I met him at the Modern Drummer Festival and started hearing his name aroundNew York. He asked to come take a lesson or two. I was taken by his fortitude and spirit of commitment to the music. He’s a wonderful musician and a fabulous drummer. He plays music at the highest level – and he plays it his own way – with purity, clarity and truth.” - Adam Nussbaum, professional jazz drummer (Sonny Rollins, Dave Liebman, Eliane Elias/Randy Brecker, Stan Getz, many others)
A journey of passion and persistence!
“Ray can play all styles. But he chose the path of most resistance, the most technically challenging path – playing jazz. He went after the articulation skills and expressive needs that jazz requires. His drive for music is so strong, it knows no boundaries. With passion and perseverance like his, there are no challenges – only the journey. Ray inspires and intimidates me. The only other person who did that is Buddy Rich.” - Dom Famularo, Drummer and International Clinician – Drumming’s Global Ambassador.
An inspiration to anyone!
“I was introduced to Ray by a friend when I was researching and photographing for my book on drummers. I heard him at the 55 Bar inNew Yorkwith K.J. Denhert and had to include him in the book. Not only is he a great drummer, but he’s an inspiration to anyone whether they love music or not.” - Jules Follett, Photographer and Author, Sticks & Skins
Producer, composer, smokin’ drummer!
“I’ve worked with Ray on numbers of tracks I’ve produced for TV and movies. He’s not just a drummer. He’s got this creative, urban Hip-Hop crossover side to him and his own great musical ideas. On the tracks we’ve done together he just smokes!!” - Rich Tozzoli, Producer, Mixer, Composer, Sound Engineer and Guitarist.