Originally from Texas, Ray Dillard has a rich and varied musical background. His career began with eight years in the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. Several college and university teaching posts culminated with Mr. Dillard serving for 13 years on the Music and Audio Engineering faculty at San Jacinto College Central in Houston, Texas.

The Paul (English) Improvising Chamber Orchestra (PICO) was at the center of Mr. Dillard's Houston-based performance environment. PICO developed a unique repertoire which spans jazz and classical idioms, showcasing Mr. Dillard's eclectic percussion battery. Performances with the World Drum Ensemble have taken him to Canada and Australia for performances during the Australian Bicentennial performances during the Australian Bicentennial celebration at the World Expo '88 site in Brisbane, Australia.

In March 1996, he performed with BUKA, an eight-member all-star ensemble made up of members of the larger World Drum Ensemble, in Taipei, Taiwan. They were the featured group of the Taipei International Music Festival. In the summer of 1998, BUKA were the featured performers as a concert in Lisbon, Portugual for Expo '98. In the summer of 2000, The World Drum Ensemble took the stage again in Hanover, Germany for Expo 2000.

January of 2004 found Mr. Dillard on tour in Japan in a chamber music quintet. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada where he works full time as the Business Manager for the percussion ensemble NEXUS. He remains busy as a performer and is on faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Recording credits include projects with artists and ensembles from the United States, South America, Europe, Japan, and Canada. His recording work with the Toronto-based percussion ensemble NEXUS includes some 13 titles, the most recent being Drumtalker. These and other percussion-rich works are at the core of his most popular work. Mr. Dillard's work can also be heard on recordings spanning styles as varied as Renaissance, classical, jazz, rock, contemporary Christian, Tejano, and experimental music.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | February 12, 1999