Eugene Friesen with Tim Ray
Musical passion, sweeping melody and rocking rhythm mark the one-of-a-kind
evenings of The Cello/Piano Project. Contemporary jazz,
Brazilian classics and American folk tunes are the soil from which
the duo's joyful interplay blooms, and chamber music is changed
As featured players with the likes of Paul Winter, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt and others, both
Friesen and Ray have cultivated unique styles of accompanying and soloing. At their duo
concerts, audiences are treated to the full range of their remarkable abilities in living color.
While some musicians may whither in the shade of musical luminaries, The Cello/Piano
Project reveals the ground-breaking instrumental mastery and compositional maturity
Friesen and Ray have each developed and fostered during years on the road.
The melodic and emotional facets of Eugene Friesen's cello have been well documented
on hundreds of commercial CDs and film scores. Less known are his unbridled
improvisations featuring an almost percussive use of the cello, or his unique pizzicato
techniques derived from African folk traditions. Friesen's use of his voice, doubling his cello
lines in perfect intonation and nuance, is another distinctive sonic signature.
Tim Ray has appeared on Jay Leno, and has been featured on national tours with Lyle
Lovett. Fluent and brilliant in a myriad of American pop, folk and swing styles, Tim is also
highly regarded as a jazz performer and composer. Though a dazzling soloist, Tim is
equally creative as an accompanist and producer and has served as musical director for
singer/songwriters Jane Siberry and Victoria Williams on the road and in the recording
Compared with a classical chamber music duo, Friesen and Ray offer a distinctive new
body of repertoire to the genre. While honoring the sonorities and dignity of classical music,
The Cello/Piano Project enlivens the form with bright rhythms, exotic scales, new colors,
familiar melodies, spontaneity and improvisation.
Playing music by Jobim, Miles Davis, Egberto Gismonti, and Thelonius Monk as well as
innovative compositions by both Friesen and Ray, The Cello/Piano Project traces a wideranging
musical gamut in a program which is simultaneously imaginative, immediate and