Fans of late ’80s skate films may recall the 1988 Powell Peralta classic “Public Domain,” which introduced the world to a young street skater named Ray Barbee from San Jose, California. Ray would go on to be one of the pioneers of skateboarding, and one of the sport’s first African American stars.
In recent years Ray has fallen back on his other passion, making jazz music. In 2003 he recorded and produced his first album at his home, and the album was picked up and released by Galaxia records. Most recently, in 2010 Ray did a collab record with prominent jazz artists and twin siblings the Mattson 2, under the fitting title “Ray Barbee Meets the Mattson 2.” Below is a music video for “Short Strokes,” which is one of the tracks on the record.
In even more recent news, Ray announced that he has signed on with Spy Optics as an artisan ambassador of their new Crosstown Collection. Here’s what Ray had to say about the opportunity in a press release from Spy: “It seems like everyone on the team or in the office has a passion for art, music, and doing things right, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
If you still can’t get enough Ray, look for his upcoming photography book project, as he’s also a talented photographer.