Ray Suen

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Ray Suen
Birth nameRaymond Liang Suen
Born (1985-07-05) July 5, 1985 (age 38)
Newark, Delaware, United States
InstrumentsViolin, guitar, keyboards, Pedal steel guitar
Member ofChildish Gambino, Passion Pit
Formerly ofLouis XIV, The Killers, Mariachi El Bronx, The Flaming Lips

Ray Suen (born July 5, 1985) is an American musician based in Los Angeles, California, best known for his work with Childish Gambino, Lorde and Mariachi El Bronx.


Raised in San Diego, California and classically trained, Suen began playing violin at the age of three. He served as a principal violinist with the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra and also studied jazz while earning a degree in Psychology at UCSD. He became a fixture in the San Diego music scene performing with rock, folk, jazz, and world music groups as well as recording with such artists as Jason Mraz, Matt Curreri & the Exfriends, Joanie Mendenhall, and Gregory Page among others.[1] He would also occasionally feature with the Joe Firstman house band on Last Call with Carson Daly.

Upon graduation in 2007, he began his first national tour playing violin and keys with San Diego glam-rock band, Louis XIV[2] opening for the Las Vegas rock band, The Killers on the last leg of their Sam's Town Tour. Suen would later join The Killers in 2008 as keyboardist, guitarist, violinist, and backing vocalist for their Day & Age World Tour and appears on The Killers' live concert DVD, Live from the Royal Albert Hall.

Suen met members of Mariachi El Bronx when they opened for the Killers and began touring with them following the end of the Day & Age Tour.[3] He would later become a member, writing songs and playing vihuela, jarana, harp, guitar, violin, and vocals for albums "II"[4] and "III".[5] Suen left the band in 2014.

Other artists Suen has performed with include Devon Sproule, The Flaming Lips and Childish Gambino. Suen played with Sproule during a short tour in February 2009 [6] and played percussion with The Flaming Lips on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien in October 2009.[7] Suen appeared again with The Flaming Lips at the 2011 New Year's Eve Freakout playing harp, guitar, synth and other percussion for the first live performance of The Soft Bulletin album.[8] He performed subsequent Soft Bulletin shows as well as Dark Side of the Moon shows as an auxiliary musician.

Suen joined Childish Gambino during the I Am Donald tour playing guitar, keyboard, and violin.[9] He resumed playing with Childish Gambino for the Camp, Because the Internet and This is America tours.[10] He also contributed to the "Awaken, My Love!" album released December 2016.

In 2015, Suen was a touring member of Passion Pit in support of their third album, Kindred. In 2016, he toured with Australian R&B artist Jarryd James playing keyboards in support of his first American album, "High." [11]

Suen has released 2 EPs as his solo project, Savio Savio.[12]

In 2017, Suen began working as musical director for Lorde[13] in support of her sophomore release, Melodrama, playing keys and guitar as well as arranging band, vocals, strings and horns. He was also music director for Lorde's Solar Power tour (2021-2023).

Selected discography[edit]



  1. ^ "New Kid on the Block Has Chops". San Diego Union Tribune. 2005-12-18. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  2. ^ "Opportunity Rocks". San Diego Union Tribune. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  3. ^ "Mariachi El Bronx show they're the real deal at London Latin Music Festival". Kerrang!. 2010-05-08.
  4. ^ "Crossing musical borders with Mariachi El Bronx". San Diego Union Tribune. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  5. ^ "MARIACHI EL BRONX (III) FOR NOVEMBER 4 RELEASE ON ATO RECORDS". 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
  6. ^ "Devon Sproule and her In-laws". C-ville. 2009-02-10. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
  7. ^ "Flaming Lips bring 'Embyronic's' rock 'n' roll edge to Hollywood". LA Times. 2009-10-16. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  8. ^ "Flaming Lips to perform defining album 'Soft Bulletin' live for New Year's Eve". The Oklahoman. 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  9. ^ "Show Journal: Donald Glover/Childish Gambino – Atlanta, GA". Scene SC. 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  10. ^ "Kansas City tries to keep up with Childish Gambino's lyrical tornado". Midcoast Station. 2012-07-10. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  11. ^ "Jarryd James at Bonnaroo". Free Bike Valet. 2016-06-14. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  12. ^ "Ears Wide Open: Savio Savio". Buzzbands.la. 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  13. ^ "Ray Suen: About". raysuen.com. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  14. ^ Ray Suen at IMDb
  15. ^ Ray Suen at AllMusic
  16. ^ "Bill & Ted's Music Team On Wyld Stallyns, Air Shredding, And Helping Keanu Reeves Learn To Play Bagpipes". Stereogum. 2020-08-26. Retrieved 2020-08-28.

External links and references[edit]