Ray Anderson (born October 16, 1952) is a jazz trombonist. Trained by the Chicago Symphony trombonists, he is regarded as someone who pushes the limits of the instrument. He is a colleague of trombonist George Lewis. Anderson also plays sousaphone and sings. He was frequently chosen in DownBeat magazine's Critics Poll as best trombonist throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.
After studying in California, he moved to New York in 1973 and freelanced. In 1977, he joined Anthony Braxton's Quartet (replacing George Lewis) and started working with Barry Altschul's group. In addition to leading his own groups since the late '70s (including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics), Anderson has worked with George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band. In the '90s, he began taking an occasional good-humored vocal, during which he shows the ability to sing two notes at the same time (a minor third apart).
Anderson has worked with David Murray, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Dr. John, Luther Allison, Bennie Wallace, Gerry Hemingway, Henry Threadgill, John Scofield, Roscoe Mitchell, Randy Sandke's Inside Out Band, Sam Rivers' Rivbea Orchestra, Bobby Previte, George Russell and others. Anderson is a member of Jim Pugh's Super Trombone with Dave Bargeron and Dave Taylor. He received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a series of solo trombone concerts.
Anderson has frequently returned to his early love of New Orleans music for inspiration. His Alligatory Band and Pocket Brass Band, featuring tuba player Bob Stewart or sousaphonist Matt Perrine and trumpeter Lew Soloff, are rooted in its tradition. Since 2003 he has taught and conducted at Stony Brook University.