Get to Know Ray Skjelbred

Kenyon Hall

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From Ray: I love music that shows passion, daring and surprise. For me, the pianists that Iadmire who most represent these ideas and to whom I listen most often are Earl Hines, Jess Stacy, Joe Sullivan, Mary Lou Williams, Art Hodes, Thelonious Monk, Zinky Cohn, George Zac, Cassino Simpson, Horace Henderson, Frank Melrose, Jimmy Yancey, Big Maceo, Bill Evans, Burt Bales, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Paul Single, Alex Hill, Sir Charles Thompson and Eddie Whitley.

I am proud that my father came from Norway, that my mother's family consisted of farmers in Wisconsin and that my wife and children are good guides and partners in my life.

"Ray's playing is the ultimate illustration of jazz as the 'sound of surprise.'" —Hal Smith

"The sheer range of Skjelbred's mastery is impressive, but his application of jazz taste and historic awareness (in context of the styles) is equally dazzling." William J. Schaefer (Pass the Jug review, Mississippi Rag)