Raymond plays piano and keyboard with the Hi Hopes. He is a musical savant with perfect pitch whose specialty is African-American Gospel, R&B and Blues, all learned and played by ear. He was born with Rubenstein-Taybi Syndrome.
Starting at 8 months, Raymond shared the piano or organ keyboard with his twin brother, Ben, as they played along with the radio. Raymond has the recollection of learning, “Jesus Loves Me” at 22 months. He began performing at church gatherings when he was 7.
In 1996 Ray’s Dad heard about the Hi Hopes after they performed at a local Seattle church while they were on tour. Shortly after, Ray moved to Southern California with his sister, Cloretta, and enrolled at Hope.
Raymond’s R&B/Gospel stylings coupled with his exuberance is a highlight of a Hi Hopes performance. Kids especially love him, probably because Ray’s childlike, unbridled enthusiasm for the music and the audience (especially children) is infectious