The Dan Cray Trio is unique in that it relies on a collaborative effort rather than the singular vision that is more typically found in a piano trio. This in turn has allowed the group to rise above the pick-up band mentality that has come to dominate the jazz landscape. Because each musician is equally invested in the development of the music, the Trio is able to match the intensity and clarity of purpose that define the best jazz artists. Their innovative arrangements and group dynamic have led Cadence Magazine to rate them \"as interesting, if not more, than the celebrated Bad Plus.\" The Trio’s music has been featured in the hit television show “Gossip Girl,” the film “The Merry Gentleman” and the radio program Eight Forty-Eight with host Steve Edwards on Chicago\'s NPR affiliate WBEZ. They’ve performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival and at venues around the country to critical success, and can be seen regularly around Chicago with the city\'s top vocalists and instrumentalists. The Trio has also been able to transfer this focus into tangible success, as their last 2 CDs (\"No One\" and \"Save Us\") spent over 10 weeks on the National and College Jazz Charts, while Chicago\'s NPR station WBEZ named each among the year\'s best in 2003 and 2005 respectively. For their fourth album together, titled Over Here Over Heard, the Dan Cray Trio chose to record live in order to capture the true energy and spontaneity of the Trio. “Recording live is the ideal situation,” says Cray. “There’s a lot of risk involved, but the reward is being able to feed off the energy of the audience and each other to reach a place that’s very hard to get to in the studio.”
Dan Cray (Piano)
Pianist Dan Cray, a finalist at the 2003 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition and the 2004 American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellowship Competition, is one of the most dynamic young jazz artists working today. Jazz Radio Berlin hailed him as a \"key figure when it comes to escorting jazz into the new millennium,\" while the Indianapolis Star enthused that his playing had \"both the depth and the playfulness characteristic of jazz piano at its best.\" Dan has performed with a number of established jazz musicians and ensembles, including Ira Sullivan, Eddie Johnson, Bobby Broom, Orbert Davis, Eric Schneider, George Fludas, Kimberly Gordon, Hinda Hoffman, Kurt Elling, Ari Brown and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Dan graduated from Northwestern University, where he studied with Donald Isaak and Michael Kocour. Dan has released three studio albums with his trio--Who Cares (2001), No One (Blujazz 2003), and Save Us (Blujazz 2005), and can also be heard on releases by trumpeter David Young, vocalists Marc Courtney Johnson and Erin McDougald, and saxophonist John Goldman.