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American Idol: Ray Chew New Music Director

January 03, 2011 01:00 PM by Paula_Kosowski

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New judges and format twists aren’t the only changes American Idol fans will notice next season. The hit Fox show is also getting a new bandleader, renowned musician and composer Ray Chew. Read on to find out what Idol’s new bandleader will bring to the table.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported Ray Chew would replace former Idol bandleader Rickey Minor who left for a gig leading the Tonight Show band.

Chew has a lot of experience working as bandleader and music director for various television programs. His varied credentials include work for show’s like NBC’s It’s Showtime at the Apollo and The Singing Bee, BET’s Sunday Best, curating music for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and the 2009 inaugural ball.

According to The Hollywood Reporter Chew has practically worked with every diva in the music biz. Some of the biggest names include Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Gladys Knight.

He’s also performed alongside contemporary pop stars such as Alicia Keys, conducting a 63-piece orchestra, and playing the piano on Rihanna’s hit single “Unfaithful.”

Chew started his career playing at the Apollo and in the Saturday Night Live Band during the 80s.

He’s gone on to work with music artists and television producers from many different genres and established himself in the industry.

The Hollywood Reporter says Chew is already crafting arrangements for the new contestants. With such an impressive resume we can’t wait to hear some of his work on Idol’s tenth season.

The new season premieres  Jan. 19 at 8/7c on Fox.

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Photo Credit: NBC

Topics: American Idol |

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