Raymond Larsen is a Seattle-based trumpeter known for his unique and spirited approach to the instrument. Earshot Jazz has called him an “expansive innovator” and The Seattle Times has described his music as “life-enhancing.”
A powerful and versatile player, Ray is best known for his work with Chemical Clock (winners of the 2015 Earshot Jazz Album of the Year), his trio Tyrant Lizard, the free jazz group The Sky Is A Suitcase, and the Jacob Zimmerman Quintet. He is also a member of the Harry James Orchestra and is a mainstay in Wayne Horvitz’s Northwest projects.
As a composer, Raymond is signed to the Table & Chairs label and recently completed his ambitious album trilogy, “Modern Achievements,” which pays tribute to three entries from a 1903 encyclopedia by the same name. How Glass Is Made (2016) re-imagines the early processes of industrial glass manufacture. New Studies of the Starry Skies (2016) traces a path through the heavens and back. When Mountains Blow Their Heads Off (unreleased) tells the story of destruction and renewal through the forces of nature. With 26 musicians participating across the 3 works, the music offers a generous cross-section of Seattle’s best up-and-coming improvisers.
Ray holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington in music and biology, and a master’s degree in Jazz Studies & Improvised Music. During his time there, he studied with Allen Vizzutti, Cuong Vu, Ted Poor, Greg Sinibaldi, Huck Hodge and Fred Radke, and earned the opportunity to perform with Tim Berne, Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Steve Swallow, Holly Palmer, and Jamie Cullum. In his early years, Raymond studied with Greg Lyons and served as the president of the Mercer Island band program. In addition to composing, Raymond is also an active educator. He maintains a private studio and works as an instructor for Seattle JazzED and the Mercer Island School District.