Raymond Hayden and the September Sky Band
Gig Seeker Pro

Raymond Hayden and the September Sky Band


Band Pop Adult Contemporary


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Show at "The Knitting Factory" LA, CA"

"My surprise of the evening was keyboardist Raymond Hayden, behind a stack of large keyboards which he played with an almost pre-recorded concert-pianist precision, something you never hear live. Hayden’s lilting tenor voice was so sleek, smooth, and haunting that coupled with his lyrics, I thought I may be listening to a Pink Floyd album, only with a hook. Between his unshakable vocal control and seamless playing, I had to ask myself: is there anything this band can’t do?" - CD Insight

- CD Insight


“beautiful music...very inspiring"
~Liv Hawn, Producer/Morning Show, Television: KCPQ 13, Seattle, WA

"Raymond...you are AWESOME!"
~Pat Cashman of...Pat Cashman Show, Radio: KOMO 1000, Seattle, WA

“I hired Raymond Hayden to do the soundtrack for my Lean and Fit video series and highly recommend him as a composer and an artist. I love his CD and have used some of his soundtracks for my radio show and audio CDs. As a performer he is entertaining
and totally captivates his audience!”
~Cliff Lenderman (Lean and Fit / Lenderman Academy of Martial Arts)

"Ray is a masterful musician who blends, passion, melody and emotion into a
riveting and inviting musical experience. Both in live performances
and recordings, Ray gives his heart..."
~Valerie Dillon (The 100th Monkey / Bad Flowers)

"Ray Haydens’ performances on his debut CD "A Doorway Through Your Tears" are a shining example of excellent piano playing and artful songwriting"
~Bobby Brightman, Brown Pelican Productions

"Review of Keys from Budapest Wests' album Letters from Afar"

Excerpt from an album that Raymond Hayden performed on. (See middle section of this review)

Budapest West, Letters From Afar (self-released, 2002)

Guitarist Rob Rigoni grew up in a Hungarian-American family, in Port Clinton, Ohio, where he played in rock bands like Tempered Steel and Fat Mannequin. More recently, he moved to Hoquiam, Washington, a lovely town west of Olympia on the Pacific Coast, where he plays casinos and Seattle parties with a cover band called Maurice the Fish. But he also plays with Budapest West, an interesting heavy fusion band which has effected this nice all-instrumental "High Energy International Fusion" album.
If you're used to Hungarian music played on the cimbalom and rhythm cello, you won't find it here. What Hungarian music you will hear has been transformed through classical music a la Bartok. The international influence is more along the lines of "exotica," reconstructed ethnic music that can't really be placed with a definite origin. The exotica here has been fused with jazz, heavy rock, pop, and classical music genres. Budapest West works comfortably in all these styles.
Some tracks are more interesting than others; the first and last ones seem to travel the most within one piece. But the band has a tendency to noodle in the middle of the album, some portions of which might be termed "Heavy New Age." The bookend tracks, "Galatea" and "Night On the Volga", though, are crawling with Turkish markets, and Rigoni's soaring progressive metal pyrotechnics. Portland drummer Eric Montgomery sets the pace alternatively with third world hand percussion, crashing cymbals, and drum kit.

Keyboardist Ray Hayden plays one moment Dimmu Borgir album entrances inspired by snake-charmer movies and the next "violin" from the great masters. Hayden's shining hour is a passionate concert hall piano piece in the midsection of the album called "Heceta Head"---wow!

There are a smattering of international and electrical influences in the middle, but just not quite so many. For instance, on "St. Augustine" the boys sizzle with a Latin jazz tune using fewer fireworks and more conventional rock treatments on the guitar.
The entire album is done professionally with good musicianship, and is well-arranged and produced -- except for the fade at the end of track 1, not bad for a total of five grand and six months in the "studio." Acoustic folkies may scoff at production, but this one wouldn't have worked from the front porch.
[Judith Gennett]

Travel to Hoquiam and Beyond with Budapest West!

- Judith Gennett


The all instrumental Letters From Afar is simply a divine mix of classical and progressive rock with some middle-eastern accents. Mainly, though, there is a European sensibility to the music, and that's where the classical elements come in. This American group, called Budapest West, move between these styles seamlessly, mixing light tinkling piano (Ray Hayden), taut percussion (Eric Montgomery), electric and acoustic guitar and mandolin (leader Rob Rigoni) and bassist Sid Anschell, all top notch musicians. While the opening track "Galatea" features crying guitar leads, the sweeter "In The Tents Of The Magyars" is more acoustic, and made me think of California Guitar Trio, as did the more "American" - i.e. mid-west -- sounding "Nabagon," with its touches of rolling piano, and twangy guitar. That isn't say that this doesn't also have its share of fiery guitar leads, it does, as evidenced by the wild, yet mature, soloing from Rigoni towards the end of the piece, or the metal-guitar fury in "Galatea." "Hungarian Song In Cm" is also all guitar lead, and a tasty one at that. "St. Augustine" has more a saucy jazz feel, with more piano - the only minus, and it's a very, very small one is, is that's there is a strange tone that often sounds like a saw heard from a distance.
Their most classical moment comes with the solo piano piece "Heceta Head," a lovely, yet sparse mellow instrumental. Of course, in there we hear quotes from Beethoven - maybe it's Bach. Anyway, the dramatic passage is recognizable even if, like me at this moment, you can't name it.
The production is crystalline - all the work of Rigoni, though the drums were co-engineered by Hayden -- which just makes for a sparkling, and beautiful, musical experience.
- Stephanie Sollow


My Own Solo CD's:
A Doorway Through Your Tears 02' (Solo Piano)
September Sky 07' (w/band)
DEMO: Try to Imagine

CD's w/Rob Rigoni:
Lean and Fit DVD (7 Albums)
Letters from Afar (Instrumental)
Other Times, Other Places (Full Band/Vocals)

CD's w/Stephen Minor:
Love / Hate
Viva Olivia



"beautiful music...very inspiring"
- Liv Hawn, Producer/Morning Show, Television: KCPQ 13, Seattle, WA

"Raymond...you are AWESOME!"
- Pat Cashman of...Pat Cashman Show, Radio: KOMO 1000, Seattle, WA

If you want your inspiration revival as poetic and powerful as Pink Floyd and as deep and illuminating as George Winston, but with just a little more enthusiasm, this Northwest soloist with a seasoned back-up band has you covered.

Raymond Hayden is nothing if not a lyrical muse injecting his compositions into the souls of his listeners. His piano and vocal work spans a library of CD, DVD and movie recordings as well as live performances all over the U.S. and throughout Europe. Highlights of his career include concert openings for headliners such as Blue Oyster Cult, April Wine, Nazareth and Berlin; writing, producing and arranging his own solo albums; co-writing seven albums for "Lean and Fit" with acclaimed guitarist Rob Rigoni for Century Fitness and recording on other artists albums such as Montgomery Park, Budapest
West and Stephen Minor.

Raymond’s the latest addition to his Northwest-infused repertoire is “September Sky” – a reflective album that dares us not to revel in his poetic, contentious essence.

It’s a Pink Floyd-meets-George-Winston (with a dash of Chicago and Michael W. Smith for good measure) feast for the ears. Raymond takes the listener on a journey through the pain, devotion and hope of his dissolving marriage and causes us to dig deep into our own fears and aspirations. Ultimately we all come out of the album experience reconciled with the world and ourselves. A powerful message wrapped great hooks and sing-along-the-first-time-you-hear-it music.

Sharing real estate on September Sky is the power ballad cover hit Mad World written and recorded by 80’s greats Tears For Fears. This is a must-listen piece that rounds out the anguish and commitment that Ray so passionately and successfully relays to his listening audience.

Other suggested selections on the album are the title track (and full-band power number) September Sky. Obvious hits also include the ardent and hooky By Your Side as well as the emotionally charged new-age pop number Mystic Rhythm. Ray burns through the album’s inspirational odyssey like an illuminating torch. Take a listen: its soon-to-be-celebrated performance is not a stunt, it’s all a part of Raymond’s authentic calling to be the artist and inspirational muse to the world he’s meant to be.