Ray Banman grew up in a small community in Manitoba. It was here that he was first introduced into music, when he started learning the organ. The organ taught Ray to explore and appreciate the various parts of music, and above all, make the message of the song a priority. During his childhood, Ray’s family ran a daycare and also took in hundreds of foster kids for emergency care. This kind of upbringing taught Ray at a young age how to relate with and care for people despite their different backgrounds and ways of thinking. Ray has translated this experience to music, as he is able to play with a wide variety of musicians as well as play a wide variety of styles. This is a skill Ray is well known for, making him a valued musician in the music scene.
Ray has gone to great lengths to develop his unique style and appreciation for music. Ray spent two years living (and working) on a sheep farm in between tours to explore the energy of country living in an attempt to develop a more genuine feel in his country and folk bass playing. In 2005 Ray travelled to the other side of the world to the oldest/poorest slums of Uganda Africa to experience what true joy from hardship really feels (and sounds) like by spending time in orphanages, street shelters and taking in the cultural dances of the area. He is always exploring life through unconventional ways, drawing in as much of the world and people around him for inspiration.
Touring has taken Ray across Canada and the United States playing shows in most every kind of venue and has opened for big names such as “Kool & the gang”, “Jully Black”, “Tom Cochrane”, “Karl Wolf”, “Great Big Sea”, “Colin James” and “Daniel Wesley”. Over the course of Ray’s career, he has performed in funk, soul, motown, R&B, jazz, big band, rock, pop, and country/western bands.
Presently, Ray continues his exploration of music by studying the accordion. Learning to control the bellows in his phrases has allowed him to appreciate more fully the “breath” of a song. By transferring this feel to his bass guitar and piano playing has allowed Ray to explore new life in his music.