Julean Rai is a singer/songwriter whose unique brand of funky folk has been capturing audiences for more than a decade across the USA and Europe.
Julean, a versatile musician, began playing piano and composing original works in 1993 as a teenager in Dayton, Ohio, where he attended a performing arts high school as a theatre major and film minor. Two years later in May 1995, he discovered the guitar and within a month was performing live shows and wooing audiences with sophisticated lyrics and rich, soulful vocals far beyond his years. The open road soon beckoned the teenaged troubadour, a magnetic lyrical storyteller and gifted musician who spent the next decade as a vagabond artist building significant fan bases inside the vibrant music scenes of cities like Austin, Boulder, Santa Fe, Tucson, and New York City.
In 2006, Julean officially began performing with his backing band, The Rai, a rotating cast of musicians that provides an infectious groove to the dynamic frontmans musical, vocal, and lyrical foundations. The Rai is ever-changing and always solid, circling from a power-duo to a three-piece folk orchestra to an E-Street size stageful of eclectic musicians and back again to Julean himself. In any form, Julean and the Rai electrifies audiences with its distinctive sound of moody folk and high-energy world fusion, incorporating influences like rock, folk, bluegrass, Arabic and Indian traditional, rai, salsa & rumba, soul, and even electronica into their original music, as most recently exemplified in the 2007,not-to-be missed full-length release, Muse Tree and to be heard in the upcoming 2008 release, "Here."
Whether performing solo or with his orchestral counterpart, Julean Rai's mesmeric energy, soulful voice, and catchy hooks are sure to captivate, making each song riveting and exciting and leaving on his audience a musical impression not soon forgotten.
(Bio by A.T.Iafrate, NYC)
Julean & The Rai
Julean & The Rai recently formed with frontman Julean Rai and rotating cast of band members centering around the foundation of a strong acoustic power-trio. The Rai immediately began working on material, old and new, with regular performances in the City and surrounding areas. Songwriter Julean Rai provides the material from his previous experience, and the band provides the orchestration, energy, groove and vibe. Julean and The Rai is a rich texture of moody folk and high energy world fusion, with roots in everything from british pop to arabic, folk, soul, and mainstream rock-n-roll.
The Rai is the rotating musical counterpart to Julean's solo show, always in flux and generally a cyclical cast of characters -- though more often than not resembling a three-piece acoustic folk orchestra.
The Rai (pronounced /rye/) is currently hard at work on the demos for their most official debut album, New York State, and are, as it turns out, located in the heart of New York City.
(Bio by Kate Price)
Literally everyone I've come into contact with over the years have been my real influences. When it comes to better known musicians, I tend to assemble those I listen to very carefully. Among that list would probably be Nina Simone, Peter Gabriel, Ravi Shankar, Tori Amos, George Winston, Elvis Costello, "Burn Down the Mission"-era Elton John, John Hiatt, Tom Petty, Hungarian Folk Music, various Rai Arabic Music and musicians, various World Music, traditional celtic, scottish, english and welsh folk music, and rock-n-freaking-roll, just like everybody else.