Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Garand, Ray (Joseph)
Garand, Ray (Joseph), guitar; b. North Battleford, Saskatchewan, 9 September 1956. He is the second son of John (1934) and Frances Garand (1935). His father was a traveling salesman specializing in automotive parts. Although no one in his immediate family played music, his Mom had a good ear; he had one Uncle Peter and one Aunt Connie who played guitar. Ray's interest in music first began while watching them play. He decided then that the guitar would be his instrument. In 1962, Ray's father drowned in a tragic boating accident. His mother remarried Pat Lutz in 1964. Ray has three brothers, Laurence (1954), Donald (1959) and Terry (1965).
At age eleven Ray and his close friend Michael Tetrault wanted to start a band. Michael's father had an old acoustic guitar with just two strings left on it. Using the two strings Ray eagerly began to teach himself to play. Michael accompanied him on a drum kit made from cardboard boxes. They rehearsed in Michael's parent's station wagon so as not to annoy the adults. Ray's parents bought him his first electric guitar and amplifier for his thirteenth birthday. Ray was completely obsessed with playing, and often skipped school to go home and practice. Together Ray and Michael formed their own band and seized any opportunity to play; school dances, private parties, graduations, etc. Ray also started recording on an old two-track tape player, laying down rhythms and then playing along with them.
On his sixteenth birthday, Ray bought himself a guitar, a 1959 Gibson SG and a Fender Tremloux amplifier. In grade eleven he decided to quit school and pursue his passion for a career in music. Shortly after, he moved to the city of Saskatoon to follow opportunities to play with other bands. He played all styles, rock, pop, jazz and blues, but his true interests were in the smooth jazz genre.
In the late 70's he joined a group called Sunband, and toured with them throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1982, Sunband wrote and recorded an album (Sunband). Not long after the release of the album, Ray left Sunband to pursue his solo career.
Ray met his true love and life partner Carole while playing in Calgary, Alberta. In 1984, Carole and Ray moved to Vancouver, on the west coast of British Columbia. Here, Ray played with several different bands, duos and had his own solo act for many years. His musical influences include Pat Metheny, Steely Dan, Earle Klugh, David Gilmore (Pink Floyd), Lee Ritenour and Jeff Beck. In 1987 he decided to open his first recording studio, Rainbow Studio, located in Vancouver. Here Ray recorded, produced and engineered various artists. He also played on other artists records.
Ray always had a fascination with smooth jazz and started writing, producing and recording his own songs. Ray had little time for working on other artists projects, so he closed Rainbow studios and set up his own private studio, Watersound Studio.
Stereo Jackets (2000); Waterworks (2001); Blameless (2002)
On The Fly (2003)
Numerous radio interviews, Canada, USA and Australia.