Dave Gray helps musicians flourish and reach their creative goals in fun and adventurous environments. He works with musicians and students regardless of their artistic style and has the range of skills necessary to adapt in today’s creative culture. He encourages artists to adopt a distinguished voice and develop a unique vision and musical pathway. Gray’s high standards in creativity and productivity are the qualities that distinguish him. He works with musicians who want to make great recordings regardless of a “label” deal or a big budget and students who are in University or private lessons. He has been fortunate enough to work with some commercially successful musicians and Universities and is just as excited to work with artists who want to make the best music they can. This is the recipe for his success that is helping him share his talents with all artists.
Gray is scheduled to defend his dissertation in Jan of 2016. His PhD in Ethnomusicology specializes in the audio engineering and music production techniques of multi-award winning Canadian music producer Daniel Lanois. He holds a Masters of Fine Art from the California Institute of the Arts in World Music and a Bachelors of Music from Loyola University New Orleans in Jazz Studies. He also studied Fine Art and Music for Film for three years at Santa Fe University in New Mexico.
He teaches courses that include audio production, sound design, electroacoustic music and theory, Jazz and Roots music of North America and the Caribbean, American popular music and comparative musicianship and analysis. He also teaches graduate and corporate seminars in recording technologies, world percussion performance, evolution of the North American drum set and rhythm, understanding creativity, music improvisation and ethnomusicology research and interview techniques.
Gray has conducted extensive research in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi focusing on the history of drumming from the American Civil War to the beginning of Rock n’ Roll, and the music of the Ewe people in the Southern Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa, as well as African contributions to American and Canadian popular music. His most recent research project is focused on new recording techniques with designing a new model for capturing audio. His theoretical interests include open source community educational systems, transculturation, improvisation and participatory music practices.
Gray is currently a co-director and co-designer of the Modern Audio Arts Program at Conestoga College with Blue Rodeo’s Canadian Music Hall of Fame recipient Bob Egan. He is also teaching courses in Sound for TV and Film in Conestoga’s Media and Design department. Gray has been approved to develop a three-term graduate degree program in the recording arts centered around his dissertation research on Daniel Lanois’ production techniques. Gray has completed a workbook on musical creative practices and is also currently working on an instructional applications book titled Improvised Recording Techniques.
Gray’s musical career spans two decades of working in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Santa Fe, New York and Toronto and he has performed on, produced and engineered hundreds of projects and continues to do so at his boutique sound laboratory Canadian Recordings (www.canadianrecordings.ca). He started producing and engineering after working as a part-time assistant to music producer Rick Rubin in Los Angeles. Gray has also performed and recorded with artists from major labels Columbia, Wind Up, Warner Bros. and Capital records and is continuing to tour North America, Asia and Europe. His peers regard him as a supportive accompanist and a musical instrumentalist.
In Canada, Gray performs regularly with his innovative bass and drum design with several local and international bands. “Bass and drums at the same time? You’re a heavy cat!” (Daniel Lanois and Brian Blade). He also participates in community music projects that involve pre-teens and teens with learning disabilities and chemical dependency issues. He has helped to bring visiting artists from Asia and the US to Canada and promotes active collaboration between community arts activists in university, college and corporate programs.