A proud Edmontonian, Joel Gray attended the music programs of Grant MacEwan College and the University of Alberta, studying trumpet with William Dimmer of the ESO and Dr. Fordyce Pier. He started playing professionally at the age of 17, and has shared the stage with some of the world's finest artists, including Tommy Banks, P.J. Perry, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanovsky, Jens Lindemann, Allen Vizzutti, Rollanda Lee, and commercial talents Gino Vannelli, Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, and Wayne Newton.
Known for his versatility, Joel is as comfortable playing lead trumpet with the pops orchestra as he is playing traditional New Orleans music or baroque piccolo trumpet. He is a regular performer with many local artists and diverse musical ensembles, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, the Singing Christmas Tree Orchestra, the Tommy Banks Big Band, the Alberta Symphony Orchestra, and Bok Brass, to name only a few. He is a veteran in the orchestra pit, having performed many professional musical theatre productions, including the national Broadway tours of Wicked, Marry Poppins, A Chorus Line, and Billy Elliot, as well as local professional productions presented at the Citadel Theatre. Joel teaches music at MacEwan University and directs the Littlebirds Big Band.
While a frequent extra player with the orchestra, this is Mr. Gray’s debut as a soloist with the ESO.