Ray Santisi (February 1, 1933 - October 28, 2014) was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, recording artist and educator. He played as featured soloist with Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Mel Torme, Irene Kral, Herb Pomeroy and Natalie Cole to name a few. He also performed with Buddy DeFranco, Joe Williams, Gabor Szabo, Milt Jackson, Zoot Sims & Al Cohn, Carole Sloane, Clark Terry and Bobby Brookmyer. He performed with his own ensemble, The Real Thing and in the 1960s performed with the Benny Golson Quartet. He has performed at Carnegie Hall and Boston's Symphony Hall.
Santisi was professor of piano and harmony at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he has taught since 1957. He won an honors scholorship to Schillinger House. He was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in composition and performance. He taught at Stan Kenton's summer jazz clinics throughout the US, performing in Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. He performed at the first Jazz Workshop, the jazz room of Stables nightclub. In 2008 he was nominated to IAJE Jazz Education Hall of Fame.
His students include many notable jazz musicians, including Diana Krall, Makoto Ozone, Joe Zawinul, Keith Jarrett, Jane Ira Bloom, Jan Hammer, Alan Broadbent, Arif Mardin, Gary Burton, John Hicks, Danilo Perez and Hiromi . Fourteen of his students have received Grammy awards.
Santisi authored Berklee Jazz Piano (published by Berklee Press in 2009, distributed by Hal Leonard), available at Amazon.com, and his instructional book, Jazz Originals for Piano,
Compositions with BMI #
Less Talk, 850876
Like Blues, 871895
Little Sue, 883296
Minstrel Eyes, 994378
Moon Mist, 1007633
Mose Knows, 1013249
Perrys Parasol, 1167560
Sam Speaks, 1285483
Take Two, 1452520
Theme For John, 1484664
Santisi has recorded on Blue Note Records, Capitol Records, Prestige Records, Sonnet Records, Roulette Records, and United Artists Records labels. He has also recorded on Bethlehem, Transition and Rasan record labels (see Discography below).
“As anyone familiar with the Boston scene knows, there are few things finer than hearing Ray take on an acoustic piano. This night, he decided to put on a clinic. It was a master indulging in the sheer joy of tackling the possibilities (maybe the impossibilities) of the instrument.” Stu Vandermark, CADENCE Magazine
- Stan Kenton Presents (Capitol Records, 1954 and 2001, Toshiba EMI, Japan)
With Boots Mussulli, Max Bennett (b) and Shelly Manne (d)
- Boston Blow-Up, (Capitol Records, 1955 and reissued 2001 by Toshiba EMI, Japan
- Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill (Transition, 1956 and reissued 2001 by Toshiba EMI, Japan
- Life Is A Many Splendored Gig (Roulette, 1957)
- The Band & I (United Artists, 1959)
- Borinquin, (Sonnet Records, 1975)
- Spellbinder (Ray Santisi album) (Rasan Records,1990)
- The Transition Sessions (Blue Note, 2002)
- Dick Wetmore (Bethlehem Records)
- Meet Me In The city (1620 Jazz Records, 2004)]]
- Live @Ryles Jazz Club, (Independent, 2005)
- Symbio Obbligato(Independent 2011)
- Live @Ryles Jazz Club, Set 2 (Independent, 2005)
- Live @Ryles Jazz Club, Set 3 (Independent, 2005)
- "Ray Santisi". All About Jazz. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Kaplan, Lloyd S.; Petteruti, Robert E. (1991). Who's Who in Rhode Island Jazz, c. 1925-1988. Consortium Pub. ISBN 978-0-940139-26-8. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Down Beat. Maher Publications. 1965. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Zammarchi, Fabrice; Mas, Sylvie (2002). A Life in the Golden Age of Jazz: a biography of Buddy DeFranco. Parkside. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-9617266-6-9. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Small, Mark; Taylor, Andrew; Feist, Jonathan; Berklee College of Music (1 November 1999). Masters of music: conversations with Berklee greats. Berklee Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-634-00642-5. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- JazzTimes. JazzTimes, Inc. September 1995. p. 39. ISSN 0272-572X. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "Ray Santisi". Aahome.com. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
The Boston Jazz Chronicles, Faces, Places, and Nightlife 1937-1962 by Richard Vacca (c)2012: Santisi, Ray 213-214 Berklee faculty 121-122 early 1960s 225 Jazz Workshop 211 mid 1950's 133, 199 with Herb Pomeroy Orchestra 214, 217
- Video of extracts from Berklee Jazz Piano on YouTube
- Ray Santisi's "been there, done that" , with archive pictures on YouTube
-  Berklee Faculty Profile: "Staying Young" as told to Peter Gerstenzang