Raymond McMorrin

Raymond McMorrin

 

 

 

Raymond McMorrin is a saxophonist from Connecticut whose musical influences range from traditional jazz to the avant-garde. Despite being rooted in jazz, his eclectic taste has led him to explore many different kinds of music, studying a multitude of styles from African music to hip-hop and classical. This gives him a very unique style, reminiscent of the past but also modern and progressive.
Raymond McMorrin was born on March 13, 1979 in Norwalk, Connecticut.  While in middle school, at the age of 11, he began studying the tenor saxophone. Throughout middle school and high school, Raymond was fortunate enough to study with Connecticut saxophone legend Judson Watts. In high school he furthered his musical education by studying with another local saxophone great named Herb Wilson.

In 1997 Raymond attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He remained there for two years, studying with saxophonist Ron Kerber. In 1999 he relocated to the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. There he had the opportunity to study under one of the all time jazz greats, Dr. Jackie McLean. Other professors who had an enormous impact on Raymond’s musical development were trombonist Steve Davis, bassist Nat Reeves, and saxophonist Kris Jensen. By the time he graduated in May of 2002, he was already making a name for himself in the New York jazz scene. He had many wonderful opportunities to play with jazz artists such as Don Friedman, Billy Drummond, Eric McPherson, Craig Handy, Jimmy Greene, and a host of others. He also performed at several of the premiere jazz clubs in New York like Birdland and Smalls. In April of 2004, Raymond was part of a band that played at the Blue Note for a week led by the great pianist Horace Silver.

In August of 2005, after much soul searching, Raymond made the decision to relocate to Japan to start a family with his then fiancée Kumiko. They have since been married and now have two amazing sons, Genki and Yota. After arriving, he soon became a fixture of the Tokyo jazz scene, which he has remained an active part of for the last decade.

Raymond has appeared on several jazz recordings over the years. In 2004 he was featured on the Steve Davis record Meant To Be.  In July of 2006 he had the opportunity to record with jazz vocalist Tiffany on her debut album, The Nearness Of You, which featured the legendary drummer Jimmie Smith.  In August of 2006 he once again recorded with Tiffany for her second album My Favorite Things, which featured jazz legends Hank Jones and trumpeter Terumasa Hino.  Raymond has since been featured on two of Hank Jones’ albums.  The first was a two-day live recording session at the jazz club Basie in Ichinoseki city, Iwate prefecture. This recording took place on August 14 and 15, 2009 and was released under the title Jam At Basie.  The second recording session was on Feb 24, 2010 at Sony studio in Tokyo.  Shortly after this session Hank passed away, and so this album was released under the title Last Recording.  Although Raymond’s career with Hank was short, he considers it to be one of the highlights of his life and an invaluable experience that has had a lasting impact on him.  

With influences like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Dewey Redman, and countless others, Raymond McMorrin has developed his own unique voice on the instrument. As he progresses on his musical journey, he will undoubtedly continue to provide listeners with fresh, exciting, and truly original music.

 

 

 

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