John Gray was born in 1987 in Phoenix, Arizona. John started playing bass when he was 10, and began playing local professional gigs in Phoenix at age 13.
In 2005, John moved to New York City, and attended Manhattan School of Music to study jazz bass. He learned a lot about jazz from Richard Sussman, Garry Dial, Larry Ridley, and Jeremy Manasia, but ultimately John wanted to seek out and play great music regardless of style. After graduation, John sought out rock and folk music at places like Bar 4 and Rockwood Music Hall, and continued playing jazz at places like Smalls and Fat Cat. He developed his sound playing at these places and met his future bandmates there as well.
John’s main artistic project, The Jazz Thieves, has played extensively at NYC venues such as Cafe Vivaldi, Rockwood Music Hall, The Bonnie, and the Bowery Electric. They can often be found headlining Saturday night bills at The Way Station in Brooklyn. Their first self-titled album was signed to Fervor Records under the name “The John Gray Band”. Their most recent release "Brooklyn Elegy" was a 4 star track of the day on AllAboutJazz.com, was featured in the Spring 2017 issue of JAZZIZ Magazine, and received international radio airplay and critical acclaim.
John also plays in many other projects outside of The Jazz Thieves. John has played jazz with jazz masters James Moody, John McNeil, and Wayne Bergeron. He has also played with Jason Trachtenburg (of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players) and Tim Cronin (of Camera Obscura/Freelance Whales/Los Campesinos) in his band Floating Compass. He is currently a member of Astoria folk favorite Single Girl, Married Girl, the Marvin Dolly Trio, and Lorens Chuno's Naija Rhythm Affair band. John also is the bandleader of the top 40 band, The Brooklyn Hits.
John is available for hire as a bassist for all occasions, and offers additional musical services. Please visit the other pages for demonstrations of John’s musical skills and services.
John also has a passion for education. John has taught piano, guitar, ukelele, and upright/electric bass privately, as well as in schools throughout the Tri-state area. John also specializes in working with homeschooled students, and teaches ensemble classes catered to their needs.