Gary Gray, Clarinetist/Saxophonist, enjoys a versatile career as a concert artist, studio musician and professor in the UCLA Music Department. He was born and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he attended Warren Central High School and then the Indiana University School of Music, receiving his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Woodwinds. He also spent two summers at the Interlochen Music Camp and a summer at the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara and the Aspen Music School…all on full scholarship. His clarinet teachers included Keith Stein, Henry Gulick, Robert McGinnis and Mitchell Lurie. Upon leaving IU he won an orchestral position with the St. Louis Symphony and after two seasons moved to LA to work on a PhD @ UCLA and freelance.
He was appointed clarinet professor @ UCLA in the 1970’s and also taught saxophone and was the first Director of the UCLA Jazz Ensembles, from their beginning in 1976 until 1992. During his long career in Hollywood, he has played on more than 1,000 film scores and many TV series, with such composers as: John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, James Horner, Thomas Newman, Don Davis, Paul Chihara and many others.
Professor Gray was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989 for his Clarinet Concerto CD with the Royal Philharmonic of London…and the Copland Concerto from this recording was used as underscoring for Ken Burns PBS 2007 documentary “The War”. His jazz experience has included performing & recording with the big bands of: David Baker, Claude Thornhill, Alf Clausen and Clare Fischer.
He’s presently playing TV underscoring for shows such as “Family Guy” and “Cleveland” and previously worked on “The Simpsons”, for many seasons. Gray’s performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with Herbie Hancock and Lang-Lang on the 2007 Grammy Award TV show was a recent musical highlight and seen by millions of viewers. His website is: clarinetbygray.com