Sean Bray

Jazz guitarist and singer/songwriter

Guitarist Sean Bray has only lived in Kelowna for a few short years so far, but to just say that he has become a huge part of the local music scene would be a huge understatement. He has or is playing with musical groups such as Cod Gone Wild, Stringers, Dirt Road Opera and others, as well as his newly formed Bray & Co. duo and the musical revue Songs of The Southern Belles.

Bray attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York, NY, and went on from there to become a highly regarded member of the jazz scene in Toronto, as well as composing for film and television. He taught at both The University of Guelph and The Toronto Film School before ultimately relocating to Kelowna.

He has also been active as a studio musician, both back east and since arriving in Kelowna. He has been recognized as one of the top 50 Canadian guitarists of all time, and his prowess across many genres clearly shows why, Sean is available for in person on online lessons.

Sean Bray | Photo copyright (c) 2021 Miles Overn Photography

Where to Catch Him

“Sean Bray is a real treat to listen to” - jazz guitar legend John Ambercrombie

“Very nice Sean : )….lovely tone. Love the chord voicings.” - Nashville studio ace Brett Mason

I love the guitar because it's really the portable orchestra and is in every genre of music except maybe opera. It's the full deal, harmony, melody and rhythm. I also love the fact that you can bend strings....

who is he?

Sean Bray | Photo copyright (c) 2021 Miles Overn Photography

Venues Sean has played:

Banff Springs Hotel (Banff)
Barn Owl Brewing
Dream Cafe (Penticton)
Herman’s Jazz Club (Victoria)
Kelowna Community Theatre
Kelowna Curling Club
Manny’s Car Wash (New York)
Mary Irwin Theatre
Olympic Park - 1988 Winter Olympics (Calgary)
O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
Peach Fest main stage (Penticton)
Peter Pumpkin Eater (New York)
Swallwell Park
The Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto)
The Bermuda Onion (Toronto)
The Duplex ( New York)
The Evergreen Centre (Vancouver)
The Montreal Bistro (Toronto)
The National Library concert hall (Ottawa)
The Rex Jazz and Blues Bar (Toronto)
The Yardbird Suite (Edmonton)
Top o' the Senator (Toronto)
Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre


Screenshot from Sean Bray Interview on YouTube
Getting to Know Sean Bray

On our eiKelowna YouTube channel

October 29, 2022

i n f l u e n c e s

As a guitarist

Bill Frisell, Brent Mason, Ed Bickert, Jeff Beck, Jim Hall, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Robben Ford, Wayne Krantz, Wes Montgomery

Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis who said "the notes you don't play are as important as the one's you do play". Melody and space are such a huge part of my musical identity as a player. Also creating your own sound on your instrument is everything for me. I have blended country bends into my jazz lines but also making it bluesy and melodic... I hope.

More About The Instrument

I love the guitar because it's really the portable orchestra and is in every genre of music except maybe opera. It's the full deal, harmony, melody and rhythm. I also love the fact that you can bend strings, which is a huge part of my playing, and create the in between notes that no other can do. Bending strings really creates a vocal quality that I love. That's what I have been working on for a long time. When I hear myself, for better or worse, I know it's me and that's very satisfying. Phew, one piece of the huge musical puzzle kind of taken care of. I also feel that there is so much to learn about music, how I fit into that and the endless untapped potential that music and guitar has to offer, that I need to constantly be practising, researching, listening, collaborating with other and defining who I am as a musician that I need to practice all the time. I'm still in the woodshed and will be until I'm not able to be. Music and the guitar is a very intriguing and satisfying journey of constant discovery.

f a v o u r i t e s

Favourite Concert

"Pat Metheny Group" at Massey Hall in Toronto. Wow, what can you say about Pat that hasn't already been said but he is one of my favourite musicians of all time.

Honourable mentions? More than a few. "Tedeschi Trucks Band" is another very memorable performance. I actually have seen them twice, once at Massey Hall in Toronto and once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver and both times they were so in the moment and not the least bit choreographed. Derek Trucks is such a force to be reckoned with on guitar plus Susan Tedeschi is such an incredible singer. The Michael Brecker Band w/Mike Stern really influenced me at an important part of my musical journey. I saw them a few times. Twice in Edmonton and once at the Commodore in Vancouver. Mike Stern was a big influence on my, along with Scofield, Metheny, Robben Ford, Wayne Krantz (who I studied with) Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie (who I also studied with), Brent Mason, Ed Bickert, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck....

Favourite Music DVDs

Also Pat Metheny "Nothing Persona" Michael Brecker's first record.

Favourite Solo

David Gilmour Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)

Honourable mentions? Larry Carleton "Kid Charlemagne" (Steely Dan), Wayne Krantz "The Great Pagoda of Funn" (Donald Fagen) Mark Knopfler "Sultans of Swing" (Dire Straits) Keith Jarrett "All the Things You Are" (Standards Vol. 1) come to mind.

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