Vallejo Jazz Society – Ray Obiedo Sextet
Sunday, March 15 @ 5:00PM |
Ray Obiedo is an American contemporary jazz guitarist. Obiedo grew up in Richmond, California, and began playing guitar at age 17. Initially he played both jazz and R&B, appearing on record with Herbie Hancock, Julian Priester, and Sheila E. He was the leader of the jazz fusion group Kick and the rock band Rhythmus 21. In 1989 he signed with Windham Hill Records, with whom he released five albums in eight years.
Ray also started his long association with the great Pete Escovedo which continues today. His own funk/fusion band, Kick, included a young Sheila Escovedo on drums and Sonny Rollins long time associate Mark Soskin on keyboards. In the mid 80s his reputation grew as one of California’s finest exponents of jazz, pop and fusion. His other outlet during this time was the pop-rock vehicle Rhythmus 21, wherein he worked with other prominent session musicians from the Bay Area. His own session experience is considerable, having partnered artists including Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Lou Rawls, Grover Washington Jr., Bill Summers, Brenda Russell, The Whispers and most currently Bob Mintzer’s Big Band.
Obiedo’s solo compositions also attracted acclaim, and saw interpretations from Tower of Power, Sheila E, Marion Meadows, steel pan great Andy Narell, jazz guitarist Bruce Forman and The Pete Escovedo Orchestra. Parts of his work have appeared on film soundtracks, most notably Michael Caine’s “A Shock To The System” and Richard Gere’s “Internal Affairs”. Such notoriety co-existed with Obiedo’s rising status as a solo artist, recording a clutch of 90s albums for Windham Hill Jazz while leading The Ray Obiedo Group on club dates and concerts. Obiedo made his solo debut with 1989’s Perfect Crime, followed two years later by Iguana; with 1993’s Sticks and Stones, he reached the Top Ten on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts. After 1995’s African-influenced Zulaya, he resurfaced two years later with Sweet Summer Days. 1999 saw the release of The Modern World, a hybrid of R&B, pop, and Latin jazz.
Never has contemporary jazz guitarist Ray Obiedo’s genuine lifelong affection for the San Francisco Bay Area’s unique musical personality been more clearly evident or remarkably celebrated than in his newest CD “Carousel “, released nationwide on the Rhythmus Records label.