Fulbright fellow Teddy Raven is a saxophonist, composer, and educator based in the Bay Area, California. He regularly performs with a wide variety of groups in diverse genres such as jazz, funk, Balkan, electronic and more. A believer in the social power of music to unite, Teddy has traveled around the United States, Eastern and Western Europe, and Turkey as a performer, educator, and student. As the 2016 Make Jazz Fellow (sponsored by 18th St. Arts Center and the Herb Albert Foundation), Teddy spent the first three months of 2016 in Santa Monica composing new music for jazz chamber ensemble and Bulgarian women's choir, and will shortly be releasing an album featuring this new music.
Teddy Raven is a Bay Area based saxophonist, composer, and educator. Involved in a diverse group of projects and genres, Teddy has performed or recorded with music luminaries Sly and the Family Stone, Beats Antique, Jazz Mafia, Deana Martin, The Original Coasters, and Theodossi Spassov among others. He has also toured throughout the United States, Western and Eastern Europe and Turkey, and has released three albums of his original music.
As a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 2010, Teddy majored in Jazz Studies and was fortunate enough to study with saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Bob Sheppard, and classical composers Erika Muhl and Veronica Krausas.
In addition to jazz, Teddy’s love of Balkan Music led him to receive a Fulbright Fellowship to study folk music in Bulgaria from 2012-2013. As a Fulbright Research Fellow, Teddy studied the kaval (traditional shepherd’s flute), traditional composition and arranging, piano, and carried out an education program with Karandilla Youth Orkestar, Bulgaria’s most renowned Romani brass band. As the summation of his yearlong studies, Teddy recorded an album of original music featuring over 30 Bulgarian musicians in four different ensembles.
Since returning from his time abroad in 2013, Teddy has made a strong impact on the vibrant Bay Area music scene as a performer, composer, and educator. Teddy is a member of local bands Kuckaw! (East Bay funk), Midtown Social (California Soul), MWE (instrumental Balkan), and the Jazz Mafia (musicians collective). He is also the co-musical director of a large-scale dance/multimedia performance called Hindu Swing, which explores the history and relationship between Indian dance/music and jazz.
Teddy is a passionate educator committed to sharing what he has been fortunate to learn from many exceptional mentors. He runs a private teaching studio, is on faculty at the Community Music Center in the Mission District of San Francisco, and works with the San Francisco Symphony giving woodwind workshops at public schools throughout the city.