Ray DeSylvester’s first performance playing harmonica on stage was sitting in with Jimmy Rogers and Pinetop Perkins at Lilly’s in Chicago in 1985. This experience inspired him to study the Blues and through the years hone his harmonica skills.
In January 2020 Ray received the honor of being inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
Ray has played on Beale Street in Memphis competing in the International Blues Competition, at the Monterrey Blues Fest, at the legendary Terra Blues in Manhattan, the French Quarter in New Orleans, PBS Blues Blast, Superstition Fest, Pecan Wine Fest, OTCA Blues Fest, Harmonica Fest, Music in the Market, and Walkin’ On Main in historic Old Town Cottonwood.
In 2017 he represented NAZBA at the IBC in Memphis and also was a 3x finalist in the Phoenix Blues Society International Blue Competition showdown. He was awarded best traditional Blues Act in 1999 by PBS. Also known as Sweet Baby Ray, and Reverend Ray, he plays with various bands and fronts his band, Blue Smoke.
Ray strives to keeps the Blues thriving and well as he weaves throughout audiences and plays solo renditions of the national anthem at festivals..