Peer Testimonials

“Ray and I have played together on and off for twenty years. He makes a great curry. His playing has plenty of flavour, too, with just the right amount of spice. He’s a joy to work with. Sometimes I even make him smile.” Paul Kelly


“Ray’s workshops are a pleasure, a very skilled musician and able to work on all levels of peoples ability, a fantastic, fun day for my choirs and Drum groups.”
Stella Savy – Vocal coach,


“… His extensive knowledge of traditional instrumentation and music, and willingness to share this on an artistic and personal level is one of the things that makes doing a session with him something to look forward to on any project. “

Mick Thomas – Composer, Singer Songwriter Weddings Parties Anything

I worked with Ray for many years in Vince Jones’ band and that was a springboard of an experience because hearing Ray play and having the chance to play along side him at a young age introduced me to the power of the drum and this is something I have subsequently still delving into and exploring to this day.

I often site as one of my most transformative musical experiences, hearing Ray play solo in the middle of a concert. Just breaking it all down… and witnessing what his playing did, how it altered the very air around us all. How deeply the audience related to his music.

I could hear his cultural heritage yes, but i could hear his politics and his wit and
I could hear his take on the present moment alongside all his hard work and study.
He was speaking his music. Ray was the first person i ever heard even talk about Bata drumming.

The Alchemical precept “through repetition the magic is forced to rise” comes to mind when I think of Ray’s work.

His influence on Australian music has been immense and anyone who has worked with him will come away with a new slant on music but also, a new way to understand or negotiate the oftentimes preposterous state of our world. Ray is a true activist in this way.

I remember playing in the same band after Ray had left and realizing what an important contribution he had made and just how much vigour and life force he
brings to any bandstand and any band experience period.

Ray’s smart as a whip humour is at times a sort of reprimand for idiocy, but there is always love in it and as they say: “much is passed in jest” . So, once you recover from the horrific and stark look in the mirror Ray will force upon you, you will come out better.

Barney McAll, Brooklyn New York, Sep 2010