Celeste Ray, a native of Los Angeles, began her musical studies at age six. Positively influenced by parents who played classical piano and flamenco guitar, Celeste’s imagination was captivated by the piano early in life. As a teenager firmly trained in classical music, she began exploring contemporary composers Bill Evans, Oregon and Pat Metheny. Her current influences include Loreena McKennitt, Bill Whelan (Riverdance) and Enya.
In 1984, Celeste received her degree in performance from the respected El Camino College in California. With considerable experience as a solo pianist, she was inspired to write for ensembles during her travels throughout Europe. Celeste’s vocals are also a big part of her signature sound. She has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York under the direction of famed composer John Rutter and at WESAK festivals in Mt. Shasta, California.
Ray’s diverse and eclectic background includes a tour of Australia for six months during 1997, where she was commissioned to compose a musical scheduled for national release. Her tour also included performances on the bowed psaltery for Australia’s national radio station (ABC), and the Government House.
From Celeste, "Strings of Gold is my most recent CD and represents a tribute to Folk and Irish music. Most of the songs are traditionals with original arrangements. After performing numerous concerts and listening to my friends' and audiences' feedback, I came up with this particular collection of "jewels."
A collaborative creation, with the talents of James Gilchrist, Eric Mauriello, Darius Kaufmann and Andrew Potenza, may you find "Strings of Gold" to be as precious to your heart as we do!"