My parents used to think I would to grow up to become a preacher. I guess I did give somewhat inspired sermons (for a ten year old) as we would stand over our roast beef and carrots at Sunday supper. Later, with all the trouble I created for myself, they briefly feared I might not grow up at all. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to find my own kind of faith and a purpose through music.
My brother would always ask me, “don’t you get sick of playing that guitar?” The answer has always been an absolute and emphatic “hell no!” The truth is, there is nothing I would rather do. Music is my life.
It’s been my experience that the more I feed this passion, the more joy it brings to me. This joy is the greatest gift on earth. This joy is the reason my guitar has taken me around the world and paid my bills. It’s also the reason I have anything at all to share with you.
I’m obsessed with the language of music and I spend my days tracing its timeless threads of inspiration. I believe in musical transcendence and it’s been my mission to bring people together in musical communion. Dancing, playing, singing, shouting, moaning, and wailing. You might call this my church and I guess you could call music my religion. As a matter of fact, a lot of my friends often call me “The Reverend,” I suppose my parents may have been right all along.
Thanks for Listening,
Clay Ross is a guitarist, vocalist, composer, and songwriter based in NYC. He has released 5 albums as a leader through the acclaimed labels Ropeadope Records and Motéma Music. His music covers a wide range of styles including rock, pop, jazz, funk, folk, world, blues, and bluegrass. After receiving a BFA in composition from the University of Charleston, Ross became an integral part of the South Carolina jazz scene and relocated to NYC in 2002. In 2005 he became a member of Cyro Baptista’s world renowned percussion ensemble “Beat the Donkey,” with whom he toured regularly until 2009 before joining Canadian folk star April Verch from 2009 to 2012. In 2006 he was honored as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador and has since represented the U.S. as a cultural ambassador on tours to Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Turkey, Belfast, The U.K., Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Brazil. Clay Ross is currently performing at concert halls and music festivals around the world as a solo artist and leading his pan-american roots music band “Matuto.”