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Ray Zhou


Ray Zhou won the Steve Vai Scholarship and promptly received a Bachelor's Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Recently, Ray won the 2012 Avanti Award and is busy recording his debut solo album.

Ray educates at the National Guitar Workshop and actively performs as a soloist and sideman throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. "I play the Rondo TL. It produces an unbelievably loud and clear tone-- you have to try it to believe it.” – Ray Zhou

Ray Zhou is a gifted and versatile musician and a dazzling and expressive performer. Ray came to the United States from China when he was eight and his talent for guitar took off from there. Prior to arriving on scholarship at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he was awarded the Steve Vai Scholarship and won 1st place in the Folsom Live Great American Guitar Competition, twice in both electric and classical guitar. By virtue of receiving the 2012 Avanti Award granted by the Joseph and Frances Brucia Foundation, Ray is equipped to record his debut solo album. Having worked with many of the world’s finest guitarists, he shared his experience as a faculty member of the National Guitar Workshop.

Currently a Master of Music degree candidate on full scholarship and fellowship at the Yale University School of Music under the direction of Benjamin Verdery, Ray received his Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Grammy-Award winning guitarist/composer Sergio Assad and David Tanenbaum. He studied electric guitar with Carl Verheyen and Dave Martone and has performed in classical master classes for Manuel Barrueco, Odair Assad, Pavel Steidl, David Russell, Ben Verdery, Roland Dyens, Adam Holzman, Katona Twins, Marcin Dylla, Julian Gray and Martha Masters.

Ray uses a Waylin Carpenter 7-string classical guitar, Kremona Guitars, and D'addario Strings.

What others are saying:

"Ray, Great job! Now you'll have to show it to me! … You rocked it!" - Carl Verheyen, Guitarist of Supertramp, Recording Artist

"Ray Zhou is a gifted musician, with a winning combination of incredible creative energy and a strong work ethic." - Martha Masters, First Prize Guitar Foundation of America Competition 2000

"Ray has what it takes to make a great name for himself in the guitar world. His work ethic is awesome and can accomplish anything he puts his mind to.  Also... Insane chops!!!" - Dave Martone, Magna Carta Recording Artist

"Ray Zhou is unquestionably one of the greatest students to pass through the halls of the music department at American River College. His dedication to music is unquestionable, his musicianship effortless, his technique flawless, and he always presents himself as a true professional. He deserves all of the accolades that he has received in his brief career!" - Joe Gilman, music director of the Brubeck Institute's Fellowship Program, professor of music at American River College, music director of Capital Jazz Project

"I have met very few guitar players that are as conscientious and patient as Ray is, which are great attributes for a performer and a teacher, coupled with his constantly growing musicality. I am excited to see how he develops in the future." - Aurelien Budynek, Cindy Blackman Group and Daredevil Squadron

"It was a no-brainer to feature Ray Zhou at the 2011 West Coast Guitar Societies Roundtable before the boards of guitar societies – I had absolute faith in his performance abilities that have steadily grown since we first met years ago at a competition (which he won), and he came through for me beautifully. The conference attendees, made of people who book classical guitarists, were unanimously impressed and pleased to learn about this rising star. When you spend time with Ray, you come away refreshed and uplifted, because his positive personality and inspirational work ethic combine to excite the mind and spirit. I’m just so glad for Ray to have had access to the superb instruction at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and all the relationships he has made there and around the country." - Daniel Roest, President of the Sacramento Guitar Society


Web Site: wwww.rayzhou.com


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