With his old-fashioned and ironic swing, singer and saxophonist Ray Gelato has become a festival favorite at Umbria Jazz, where he has performed many times. He was born in London, the son of a US soldier stationed in the UK. Young Ray grew up listening, on the one hand, to the songs of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and on the other, to rock & roll and jive. Back then, young fan favorites were Louis Jordan, Louis Prima and Bill Haley. Ray’s model for tenor sax was Sam Butera.
From the blend of these influences, Ray has built an explosive formula of the music of the 50s and 60s, plus a good dose of humor. Ray has gained popularity with this formula, especially in Italy. Launched by Umbria Jazz, which has hosted him several times, he has become one of the festival’s audience favorites.