Ray Anderson is a gifted teacher and has long been in demand for workshops and master classes around the world. Since 2003, he is the Director of Jazz Studies at the Music Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook . “I really enjoy teaching," he says. “As I get older I seek to serve music not only by performing but by helping to inspire the next generation. Another aspect of this aspiration is my increasing interest in composition." In response to this interest he has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, the Oberon Foundation and Chamber Music America. In 2001 he became a John S. Guggenheim Fellow.

Read an article about Ray's teaching here.


" I think Ray is a brilliant and inspiring teacher. I have seen him teach on many occasions, and last semester I participated in his workshop in improvisation for graduate students. He brings a fresh perspective to his teaching, based on years of experience as a professional musician in all kinds of ensembles and genres. In this respect he is unlike many Jazz teachers, who rely more on academic training than practical experience.

" Like many of our performance faculty, Ray's focus is less on the mechanics and techniques of playing than on the deeper, more fundamental aspects of being a musical artist: the integration of body, mind, and emotion; the cultivation and refinement of intuition; the development of an authentic, personal voice. He typically works with trombone in hand, and frequently plays to illustrate his points. An accomplished song-writer, he has the knack of expressing his insights in memorable aphorisms (I've been compiling a collection of them). I have learned much from him. He has the potential to build a program here at Stony Brook that is truly unique, and on a level comparable to our programs in the performance of classical music. His work reaches across disciplinary boundaries: by no means is he limited to the standard or "academic" jazz repertoire: he is comfortable with improvised music of any stripe, and he proved to be an inspiring teacher for graduate students who had no familiarity with jazz style or repertory.

" Ray's promise was demonstrated in the first performances by the Stony Brook jazz ensembles under his direction this past December. I have been going to University jazz concerts for years, and I have to admit that I often find them boring: the bands seemed too occupied with struggling through complicated and difficult written arrangements; the improvisations usually timid and unadventurous. Under Ray, the band played only a few written arrangements, (most of them by memory) the focus was on improvisation. The students' playing was never timid or routine: they were passionate, energetic, daring. They took chances, and played with commitment. It was anything but boring! "

Peter Winkler, Director of Graduate Studies and professor of composition at Stony Brook University (SBU)

Selected Community and Educational Experience

May 1999--Three day workshop for high school and college students in Vasteras, Sweden

June 1999--Week-long seminar at the Innsbruck Conservatory of Music in Austria.

March 1997--Rehearsed and directed the all-county high school big band in concert and judged local high school jazz bands at Suffolk Community College.

February 1997--Masterclass at Ward Melville High School.

Spring 1997-- Teaching trombone at the New School for Social Research, New York City

June, 1997-- Featured performer at the Bach Aria Festival, Stony Brook University. Also participated in a "Meet the Artist" discussion before the performance.

June 1997--Invitation "Carte Blanche" at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Performed with five different bands in five days

Aug. 1996--Rehearsed and led the Brande International Music Workshop Band, a 20 piece big band assembled from top students of the International Assoc. of Schools of Jazz by the Rhythmic Music Conservatory of Copenhagen and sponsored by the European Union. Performed own big band compositions with this group in Denmark, Holland, Germany, Brussels and Luxembourg.

Aug. 1996--Month-long Artist in Residence for the city of Copenhagen. One of 12 Jazz Visits celebrating Copenhagen's year as the European Cultural Capital. As artist in residence, played with several different groups of Danish musicians ranging from Dixieland and Swing bands through Avant-Garde ensembles. Also taught at various music schools, talked to the press, did radio interviews as a "Jazz ambassador".

Jan. 1996--Week long residency in Philadelphia PA organized by the Painted Bride Art Center. Rehearsed and performed with 2 groups: the Philadelphia Musicians Collective and the Jazz band at the High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). With Musicians Collective, helped develop members' own original compositions, offered constructive criticism, etc. At the High School, rehearsed own big band charts, worked on improvisation, intonation, phrasing, rhythm, etc.

June 1996--Performed and taught at the Al Grey Jazz Camp at the Pottstown School District, Pottstown, PA. Gave lecture/demonstrations for the whole camp, worked on improvisation with small groups of kids, and performed with Al and the rest of the faculty in a concert.

April 1995--Lecture/demonstration for all jazz students at North Texas State University.

April 1995--Lecture/demonstration at the University of Southern Mississippi for trombonists from surrounding colleges and high schools, as well as those from U-Miss.

April 1995--Lecture/demonstration and rehearsal/performance with the University of Pensacola Jazz Band.

Feb. 1994-- Residence and performance at Dartmouth College in Hanover, VT. Worked with the jazz students on ensemble playing and improvisation using own compositions.

Feb. 1994--Northern Illinois University. Rehearsed and performed with the NIU Jazz Band and gave trombone lecture/demonstrations.

November 2008-- Workshops, Performance, Individual lessons at North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem NC

Feb. 2009 -- Workshop and Master classes and Performance at U. of South Florida i Tampa, FL