EXCLUSIVE: Horace Bray's new song "Dreamstate"

Ethereal and dreamy, as the title of the song might lead you to believe, Horace Bray’s new single and title track off his upcoming album Dreamstate (that comes out tomorrow, by the way!) will leave you lost in the smooth sound of modern jazz guitar.

Bray is inspired by Ambrose Akinmusire, The Bad Plus, Gilad Hekselman, Lage Lund, and  Kurt Rosenwinkel, “but mostly the people I play with,” Bray says, “like Matt Young, Mike Luzecky, and Connor Kent,” really inspire the young musician.

 Image provided by Horace Bray

Image provided by Horace Bray

More than jazz, Bray says he listens to a lot of different music when he is not playing (or listening to) jazz. Neo-soul, Gospel, folk, prog-metal, old school country, ambient, and singer-songwriter genres top his list, although he says the list could go on.

A master of his craft, Bray graduated from the University of North Texas last fall, earning his Bachelor's in Jazz Guitar Performance and Music Theory. Although not originally from Texas, Bray moved around a bit as a child, hitting two major U.S. coasts and the Midwest in states like California, Maryland, and Ohio. Bray ended up in Webster Groves, Missouri for middle & high school, venturing to Denton shortly after for college.

“I think Denton definitely has a good scene,” Bray says, “but we need more places to play and get together.” With the news of Rubber Gloves set to close later this year, Hailey’s and Banter saying bye-bye last year, Denton musicians seem to venture to Dallas for more frequent shows to play.

In fact, you can catch this Texas-transplant strumming his guitar every Tuesday evening (starting in June) with the Southpaw Preachers who have a residency at Vetted Well in Dallas.

Despite the music venues slowly diminishing, there is a wealth of talent residing in Denton. “The musicians are amazing and really into being great at a bunch of different styles,” Bray says. “I can be on an old-school soul gig on a Friday, then play a jazz standards gig the next night with the same musicians, then a few days after that we may all be playing hip hop and neo-soul. It’s rare to be in a place where there are so many musicians proficient in so many different styles. It also feels like a big family which I think is really important for a musical scene.”

 Image provided by Horace Bray

Image provided by Horace Bray

As far as live Jazz music in Denton? Paschall Bar & Greenhouse are your best bets. “Weekly hangs are really what bring the scene together. Paschall Bar on the square has had a Sunday jazz night the last couple months and it's been awesome to see people playing, sitting in, and networking every week.”

We suggest you catch Bray while you can in Denton or Dallas. In the next five years he hopes to be touring around the world playing clubs and festivals, doing clinics at various performing arts schools and colleges, and living in New York City, and we see him going all the way.

You can buy Dreamstate on iTunes, and you can learn more about Horace Bray via his website or Facebook page.

Tracklist for Dreamstate:

1. Laumeier
2. Laumeier outro
3. Living with Imperfection
4. Sooth
5. Dreamstate
6. 345
7. Mellifluous
8. Dirge for Mary Mallon
9. The Mind as a Brittle Object
10. Semantic Satiation

Image provided by Horace Bray