At the age of 32, Raymond James Mason has quickly established himself as a versatile, in-demand studio musician as well as one of the world’s top call trombonists in the ever-demanding field of pop music horn section work.
Ray has performed with superstars across generations such as Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Erykah Badu, Kelly Clarkson, Don Henley, Maren Morris, The Roots, Randy Newman, David Byrne, Jessie J, Meghan Trainor, Billy Gibbons, plus dozens of other popular artists.
Ray enjoys an active career performing on Live TV. Highlights include the 2020 Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, The Academy Awards with Eminem in 2020 and as tenor/bass trombonist of the orchestra in 2022, Saturday Night Live with Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson, The GRAMMY Awards with Nas, and the CMA Awards with Earth, Wind, and Fire and Lady A.
Ray is also a seasoned touring trombonist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with artists such as Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Mark Ronson, FELA! The Musical, Lukas Graham, Bonobo, Valerie June, Bright Eyes, Lady A, Broken Social Scene, and Red Baraat.
With thousands of hours of experience as a studio trombonist, Ray’s horn section recording credits include “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, as well as commercial releases by Mac Miller, Lizzo, The Roots, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Macklemore, Norah Jones, Little Big Town, Menahan Street Band, El Michels Affair, and many more.
Ray has arranged for producers such as Dan Auerbach, Mark Ronson, Adam Blackstone, El Michels Affair, Diplo, Sam Cohen & Danger Mouse on songs performed by artists such as Ed Sheeran, Lee Fields, Beck, Kelis, and Yola.
Ray’s soundtrack performance credits include the Amazon Prime Sports Theme, The Boys Season 3, The Get Down on Netflix, and upcoming releases for Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, AppleTV+, and Electronic Arts.
Ray has composed music for NBC, Tiffany & Co, Kiehl’s, and other international brands. His playing can be heard in ads for Nike, Facebook, Taco Bell, Garnier, Skippy, Guinness, and on streaming TV such as Marvel’s “Captain America and The Winter Soldier” on Disney+, “Suits” on USA, HBO Max’s “Made For Love”, and the theme song for HBO’s “Barry”.
As a member of Brooklyn afrobeat ensemble Antibalas, Ray was GRAMMY nominated for Best Global Music Album in 2020.
His work with Antibalas and its famed horn section has brought him to major festivals around the world and led to performances with My Morning Jacket, Brittany Howard, The Roots, Dr. John, the String Cheese Incident, Angelique Kidjo, Arcade Fire, and Bill Withers’ final on stage appearance at Carnegie Hall.
As a graduate of NYU, Ray set out to learn from the leading professional trombonists in a variety of disciplines and studied with Tom Hutchinson, Mark Patterson, Robin Eubanks, Alan Ferber, and Elliot Mason, as well as additional lessons with Marshall Gilkes, David Langlitz, and Brian Mahany. Additional mentorship by SNL Bandleader and original Tower of Power saxophonist Lenny Pickett, GRAMMY award winning composer, educator, and trumpet player Brian Lynch, and Director of NYU Jazz Dave Pietro provided Ray with the tools necessary to approach all musical scenarios in the 21st century.
A born and raised New Yorker, Ray spent over a decade working professionally in NYC and now lives with his wife in Nashville, Tennessee. At home, Ray is active in the bustling Nashville studio scene and performs with Wild Iris Brass Band, co-led with award winning saxophonist and creative force Jeff Coffin, GRAMMY nominated recording artist Devon Gilfillian, and Afrobeat inspired group Crooked Rhythm Band No. 1.
- GC2-Y Small Bore Tenor Trombone