Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media

Historical Photo Archive


Ray Wright served as the Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media from 1970 to 1990 and also served as co-chair of the Conducting and Ensembles Department. With the help and guidance from my professors Jeff Campbell and Bill Dobbins I have created a Historical Archive which highlights our lush jazz musical history here at Eastman through the legacy that Ray Wright left as a pioneering jazz educator. Many of these photos are from the golden years of the event called the “Arranger’s Holiday”. This was an event led by Ray Wright in collaboration with Studio Orchestra that helped to bring many Jazz Greats to Eastman who have worked with the students throughout the years including Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Mel Torme, Marian McPartland, Billy Taylor, Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Thad Jones, Ron Carter, Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer to name a few.


'Stringendo', by Donald Mackay (Rayburn Wright conducting)

‘Stringendo’, by Donald Mackay (Rayburn Wright conducting)

Mel Torme and Rayburn Wright, 1965

Mel Torme and Rayburn Wright, 1965

Mel Torme and Rayburn Wright

Mel Torme and Rayburn Wright

Mel Torme and Rayburn Wright during a Reading Session

Mel Torme and Rayburn Wright during a Reading Session

Eastman Historical 4

Rayburn Wright and Donald Hunsberger

Rayburn Wright and Donald Hunsberger

Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae

Manny Albam and Thad Jones, 1967

Manny Albam and Thad Jones, 1967

Chick Corea, 1967

Chick Corea, 1967

Manny Albam

Manny Albam

Manny Albam

Manny Albam

Rayburn Wright and Carmen McRae

Rayburn Wright and Carmen McRae

Eastman Historical 7

Clark Terry

Clark Terry

Eastman Historical 17

Billy Taylor, 1968

Billy Taylor, 1968

Thad Jones

Thad Jones

Manny Albam

Manny Albam

Richard Davis

Richard Davis

Eastman Historical 25

Rayburn Wright

Rayburn Wright

Chuck Mangione

Chuck Mangione

Chuck Mangione and Manny Albam

Chuck Mangione and Manny Albam

Chuck Mangione

Chuck Mangione

Rayburn Wright, manny Albam, and Clark Terry

Rayburn Wright, manny Albam, and Clark Terry

In the studio

In the studio

Don Neuen, Ray Wright, and Jan DeGaetani

Don Neuen, Ray Wright, and Jan DeGaetani

Rayburn Wright and Wynton Marsalis

Rayburn Wright and Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis visits Eastman

Wynton Marsalis visits Eastman

Rayburn Wright

Rayburn Wright

Woody Herman being interviewed on the radio

Woody Herman being interviewed on the radio

Red Rodney

Red Rodney

Ray Wright

Ray Wright

Ray Wright

Ray Wright

J.J. Johnson

J.J. Johnson

ray Wright and J.J. Johnson

Ray Wright and J.J. Johnson

J.J. Johnson

J.J. Johnson

Eastman Historical 43 Eastman Historical 42 Eastman Historical 41

Ray Wright

Ray Wright

Ray and Bill

Ray and Bill

Bill Dobbins and Rayburn Wright

Bill Dobbins and Rayburn Wright

Alec Wilder (bottom left)

Alec Wilder (bottom left)

Rayburn Wright, Manny Album

Rayburn Wright, Manny Album

Rayburn Wright, Manny Album

Rayburn Wright, Manny Album

Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins

Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins

Clark Terry

Clark Terry

Eastman Historical 44

Marian, Manny Album

Marian, Manny Album

Outdoor Concert Series with Marian McPartland

Outdoor Concert Series with Marian McPartland

Gene Bertoncini and Ray Wright

Gene Bertoncini and Ray Wright

Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland

Gene Bertoncini and Ray Wright

Gene Bertoncini and Ray Wright

Studio Orchestra

Studio Orchestra

Chuck mangione, Ray and Donald Shetler

Chuck Mangione, Ray and Donald Shetler

Studio Orchestra

Studio Orchestra

Studio Orchestra

Studio Orchestra

Luther Henderson, III (beard) and James Crumbly learning from Rayburn Wright, 1971

Luther Henderson, III (beard) and James Crumbly learning from Rayburn Wright, 1971

Luther Henderson, III (beard) and James Crumbly learning from Rayburn Wright, 1971

Luther Henderson, III (beard) and James Crumbly learning from Rayburn Wright, 1971

Gerry Mulligan in the Eastman Theatre

Gerry Mulligan in the Eastman Theatre

Manny Albam, Ray Wright, and Gerry Mulligan

Manny Albam, Ray Wright, and Gerry Mulligan

Manny Albam, Ray Wright, and Gerry Mulligan

Manny Albam, Ray Wright, and Gerry Mulligan

Toots Thielemans (center)

Toots Thielemans (center)

Rayburn Wright and Toots Thielemans

Rayburn Wright and Toots Thielemans

Dizzy

Dizzy

manny Albam and Dizzy Gillespie

Manny Albam and Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

Gerry Mulligan

Gerry Mulligan

Eastman Historical 64

Rayburn Wright conducting the Eastman Studio Orchestra

Rayburn Wright conducting the Eastman Studio Orchestra

Studio Orchestra Trip

Studio Orchestra Trip

Stan Getz

Stan Getz

Ray and Stan

Ray and Stan

Stan Getz

Stan Getz

Stan Getz and Rayburn Wright

Stan Getz and Rayburn Wright

Gerry Mulligan

Gerry Mulligan

Gerry Mulligan

Gerry Mulligan

Rayburn Wright

Rayburn Wright

Joe Williams

Joe Williams

Bill Dobbins and Ray Ricker, 1976

Bill Dobbins and Ray Ricker, 1976

Bill Dobbins and Ray Ricker, 1976

Bill Dobbins and Ray Ricker, 1976

Bill Dobbins and Ray Ricker, 1976

Bill Dobbins and Ray Ricker, 1976

Michael Brecker and Ray Wright

Getz performing with the Eastman Studio Orchestra

Getz performing with the Eastman Studio Orchestra

Eastman

Bob Brookmeyer

Bob Brookmeyer

Phil Woods

Phil Woods

Phil Woods

Phil Woods

Rayburn Wright conducting the Eastman Jazz Ensemble

Rayburn Wright conducting the Eastman Jazz Ensemble

Gene Bertoncini and Mike Moore

Gene Bertoncini and Mike Moore

Keith Jarrett, Bill Dobbins, and Ray with Bill Dobbins rehearsing the band, 1976

Keith Jarrett, Bill Dobbins, and Ray with Bill Dobbins rehearsing the band, 1976

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Ron Carter

Ron Carter

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Alumni, Ron Carter visits Eastman

Guest Soloists and Clinicians at Eastman

Guest Soloists and Clinicians at Eastman

 

Some Quotes from the Past

“I can’t tell you the number of times my fondest dream has come true: that students have learned not only what I’ve taught them, but also how to learn- by analyzing the continually evolving musical models in the world and extending their craft by imaginative efforts. 

The most wonderful thing is to see students going beyond what I can take credit for – to see them turn their amateur efforts into professional work in terms of technical skill, consistency, and expressiveness.”

-Rayburn Wright, 1989

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“I would encourage people to take chances.”

-Bob Brookmeyer to Ray Wright, 1982 

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“I have always loved working with music. I find all music, especially jazz, an incredibly beautiful and wonderful outlet for human expression. “

-Ray Wright, 1986

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“One point I consider important is that you never consider measuring the importance of your playing by the number of people in the audience. For musicians, an important person for future work or contacts can just be one person in the room. . . Always play as if there were definitely such a person eavesdropping on you.”

-Ray Wright, 1983

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“The established ways of doing are all organized, set, and overworked because music schools train students to write this type. But there are so many creative offshoots possible that are not being explored. I have learned to exploit the unorthodox or unused possibilities in music.” 

-Ray Wright, 1965

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“I think my students progress so fast because they are ‘self-teachers’.”

-Ray Wright

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“I’ve never known an individual that exhibited such excellence, perfection, strength, organization and artistry, with such calmness, deftness, lightness, even warmth, humor and kindness, as Ray. He shows us all that excellence and balance can coexist.”

-Maria Schneider, 2012

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“Ray’s way was the ‘real world’ way, with the highest professional standards. He never dumbed it down for his students as players, writers, and teachers – an immeasurable gift to all of his proteges.”

-Fred Sturm, 2012

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“I came to Eastman specifically to study with him and I can safely say that he is the best educator I have ever studied under. He is a master craftsman with an unending flow of creativity.”

-Joel McNeely

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“Every concert, arrangement, or meeting with Ray Wright resulted in a change in how you might think about something. He was always helping each person reach their own personal best.”

-Vinnie DiMartino, 2012

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“The guiding line between daring and wrong is very thin. You should always walk that line.”

-Ray Wright, as retold by Dave Rivello, 2012

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“I have learned immeasurably, not only about music, but about humanity, imagination, and creative vitality, through working with Ray, and often simply through observing him in action.”

-Bill Dobbins, 1989

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Upcoming Events

October 3rd at 7:30 PM

Eastman Jazz Ensemble/New Jazz Ensemble, KH


October 8th at 7:30 PM

Chamber Jazz,  KH


October 22nd

Visiting Bass Artist: Larry Grenadier


November 9th at 7:30 PM

Eastman Jazz Workshop Ensemble, KH


November 29th at 7:30 PM

Eastman Jazz Ensemble, KH


December 4th at 7:30 PM

Eastman Jazz Lab Band, KH


December 6th

Visiting Bass Artist: Linda Oh


December 10th at 7:30 PM

Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, KH@ET