Ray Chew

~ Person


Ray Chew (born c. 1958) is an American musician who specializes in keyboards and contemporary and orchestral arranging.

Chew was a member of the Saturday Night Live Band from 1980 to 1983. As of the late 2000s, he is the music director for the syndicated television series Showtime at the Apollo, and the bandleader on the The Singing Bee.

Chew was the bandleader during the 2008 Democratic National Convention and at the Barack Obama Neighborhood Ball at the First inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009.

He grew up in the Grant Houses, located on 125th Street, several blocks west of the Apollo Theater. As a youth, Chew studied under Dorothy Maynor and Betty Allen at Harlem School of the Arts, a multidisciplinary arts school in Harlem.

As of 2009, he was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey, having moved there from New York City in the late 1990s.

It was announced on December 30, 2010 that he will be replacing Rickey Minor as the new music director on American Idol. In February 2014, it was announced that he will also be replacing Harold Wheeler as orchestra leader, starting in the eighteenth season of Dancing with the Stars.

Chew studied at Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation's longest-running community music school, in the early 1970s for approximately four years and the Harlem School of the Arts for many years. He took a wide range of classes, but focused primarily on percussion and piano. He was particularly fond of contemporary jazz. During his years at Third Street, he became a student teacher alongside faculty member, Ramon Rodriguez.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1996 Blue Crystal 1

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