John Ray is a bass player from Winston-Salem, NC who has performed and recorded with many bands around the country, in musical genres ranging from hip-hop to jazz to classical, for the last 17 years. He was trained in classical guitar from the age of 8, and went on to major in classical bass performance at UNC School of the Arts. Since graduating in 2000, John has played with literally hundreds of acts, and has found his niche in the bass world as an electric/upright doubler with a very unique, pocket oriented groove. He has performed with notable acts such as the Allman Brothers, The Embers, and George Clinton, and shared the stage with bands such as the Roots, Gap Band, Wu Tang Clan, and more. He is passionate about improvised music, and enjoys playing with anyone who loves music, energy, and life as much as he does.
John plays primarily with Empty Pocket, a cover band from Greensboro, NC, and also plays with his original band RKIII, a progressive jazz/fusion ensemble that plays current jazz music and pushes the boundaries of what live music can accomplish. He incorporates computers using Ableton and MainStage into his live rig, and is fluent with keyboard bass as well as upright, 4, 5, and 6 string basses. He is currently musical director for one local band, has produced several albums, arranged music for various ensembles including string quartet, handbell choir and voice choir, and books and manages his original band RKIII. John produces a podcast called Mr. Haircut.