Ray Belli is a professional drummer who has been recording and touring internationally for the last 15 years. Originally from NJ, Ray cut his teeth performing as a sideman for rock legends such as Jon Anderson, Gibby Haynes, and Jeff Skunk Baxter among others, all before the age of 18.
In 2013, Ray became a founding member of art-pop band Arc Iris with whom he still performs and records today. As a member of Arc Iris, he has toured alongside major artists such as Kimbra and Jeff Tweedy, performed at major festivals such as Bonaroo (US) and End off the Road (UK), and released four full-length albums.
Most relevant to The Festival of Tabla, in 2010, Ray began studying Indian rhythm under Pandit Divyang Vakil, founder of the Taalim School of Indian Classical Music in Edison, NJ. Over the years, Ray has worked closely with Vakil to develop a system for translating the tones and compositions of North Indian classical percussion onto the Western drumset. This unprecedented approach correlates particular tabla notes with particular strokes on the drumset, making the entire repertoire of tabla accessible to him.
Ray is also a member of ATMA, a modern Carnatic ensemble.