Physicist and jazz musician, Jim's dedication to music, has been a preoccupation since the
age of 6 when he first studied piano. In 2007 he left California and settled in Charlottesville
Virginia, a haven of artists and musicians. His collaboration with Hod O'Brien in the 2 piano
project, 2x88, has been recognized by invitations to perform at the Lorton Jazz Festival in 2009
and 2010. Another successful project, F.U.S.E., has grown out of the rewarding and stimulating
collaboration with Steve Michael Smith. Retired from physics and in addition to his love of music,
Jim has studied Peruvian based shamanism and assists in workshops with his wife Deborah.
Dueling pianos with the legend Hod O'Brien. Jim had the
good fortune of moving to a 5 mile bike ride from one of
bee-bops best. Together we devastate standards, our
battle ground, and tell stories of over 100 years
(collectively) on the musical road.
Look for the Silver Lining
Three distinct musical streams collide in F.U.S.E.: the
R&B/jazz vocals and compositions of the virtuoso guitarist
Steve Michael Smith; the fluid percussion of Reggae
master Darrell Rose (formerly with the Wailers); and Jim
on keys and t-bone.
(by Steve Michael Smith)
Piano & Bass
Jim does solo and small combo (2-4 pieces). Steve Smith
on guitar pairs with Jim in many venues around central
Virginia. Here's a sample with the accomplished bassist,
Peter Matthews of Lexington VA.
(by Antonio Carlos Jobim)
Photography: Martin Phillips, Moriah Smith, Keith
Maxwell, Susanne Fitzgerald
Sound engineers: Richard Smith, Jim Wray
Recordings: Azurat Studio, Jim Wray Studio
Contracts and management: Lander Creative
and Sherri Smith
F.U.S.E. at Veritas NYE 12/31/10
“What a fabulous performance.
Everyone loved your music and we
all enjoyed ourselves so much.
Thank you again for an awesome
NYE. You guys really made the
night perfect. I hope your year is
off to a great start.”
Chloe Hodson Frey
Veritas Vineyards & Winery
151 Veritas Lane
Afton, Virginia 22920
2x88 Friday night at the Batesville Store February 4, 2011 - Cid's promo
"Generally regarded as the finest be-bop pianist of the past fifty years, Hod has played with a
veritable who’s who of jazz greats, including Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard, has owned his own
jazz club in New York City, and has compiled a discography that must be seen to be believed--
check it out at www.hodobrien.com. In the past year alone, he has been featured on the cover
of Jazz Journal and was the subject of a lengthy piece in Jazz Times.
The kid with whom Hod will share the Wine Cellar, Jim Wray, ain’t too shabby himself. When he
isn’t playing with Hod, he’s out and about as the frontman for several groups, including F.U.S.E.,
the fabulous jazz quintet that has played in the store several times. Jim’s high-spirited ivory
tickling is a neat contrast to Hod’s elegant keyboard work, and the two play off each other like
one of Liza’s chipotle brownies with cinnamon ice cream on top.
Their music is like dessert for the ears."
(Cid Scallet, proprieter of the Batesville Country Store, Batesville, VA)
News FLASH: Jim recorded trombone on the Watermelon track 3/23/11 at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles
for the Jazz for Japan benefit project. The session he was part of was led by bassist Marcus Miller and
featured Clarence McDonald (piano), David T. Walker (guitar), Everett Harp (tenor). CD/DVD releases are
planned. Note: The album when published had replaced Jim Wray with Lee Ritinour and Kenny G.