Ryan Carraher (b.1993) is an award-winning contemporary/experimental composer, jazz guitarist, improviser, studio musician, producer and educator based in Seattle, WA. His recent compositions experiment with the construction of deliberate psychophysical impossibilities; tasks which physically cannot be perceived and “faithfully” executed. These situations can inspire a break down between score/sounding-result, perceptual overwhelm (both in the performer and the auditor), breakdown of learned habits, entranced lull, superfluity, stunted spectacle and multi-centric, intermodal sensory dissonances.


He holds a degree in guitar performance from Berklee College of Music (Summa Cum Laude) where he was awarded the Berklee Guitar Department Achievement Award and a MA in Composition from Tufts University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at University of Washington.

As a contemporary composer, he has been named the Eastern division winner and national finalist of the MTNA composition competition for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. His work has received a merit award from the Tribeca composition competition, selection as national finalist in the Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition and been workshopped by members of Ensemble Intercontemporain  [MANIFESTE (2018) IRCAM (Paris-Fr.)]. He has had U.S/International premieres/commissions from ECCE Ensemble (Etchings Festival-Auvillar, Fr.), Ensemble x.y, Transient Canvas, Iwona Glinka, Orlando Cela, Erin Rogers (New Music on the Point), Popebama, Peridot Duo, Rose Hegele, Philipp Stäudlin, Anna Griffis, Emmanuel Feldman, Mariel Roberts (Wet Ink/Mivos Quartet), Giorgos Panagiotidis (VIPA), John McDonald and more.


He has studied composition with Alla Cohen, John McDonald, Stratis Minakakis, Stefano Gervasoni, Erin Gee, Philippe Hurel and John Aylward.


As a jazz composer/guitarist, Ryan has released numerous albums to critical acclaim. His 2016 debut release Vocturnal was named to the All About Jazz "Best of 2016 list". In 2018, he released his sophomore record Obscure Sorrows.

He is proud to endorse PRS Guitars.

"Definitely someone to watch, Carraher has made a real statement with 'Vocturnal'; there is surely much more music to come from this highly talented player and composer."
                          -Budd Kopman All About Jazz.com

"Dude! You're killin! Definitely motivating me to keep learning new concepts. Keep up the great work!"

                                        - Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders)

"Ryan is a modern guitar virtuoso.  Having been a former student of mine, I noticed even at his first lesson that he has "the gift" and he would be a great player if not one of "the greats".  Having an outstanding work ethic, a humble attitude, combined with his musical and physical abilities the sky is the limit for him." 

                                                                         -Derryl Gabel

“Fantastic compositions and brilliant playing! Bravo!”

                                                                                 - David Tronzo

"An artist who is constantly adventuring into music’s wildest spaces, Ryan has managed to craft a unique improvisational and compositional sound, and now, he’s unleashed this sound onto the world in his debut album, ‘Vocturnal’."

                                                                           - Anthem Reviews

"Your content online is beyond helpful! They are gold mate! I have stopped playing the guitar but when I heard you, I was inspired to pick it up again! Your sound is fresh and I love it!"

                                                                                  - JC (Student)

"I really like your album, some real thought has gone into the compositions, your playing is also really cool with a delicate and sophisticated approach. It's refreshing to hear somebody display maturity and sensitivity in their music and you have definitely done that with your album, excellent."

                                                                           - Chanan Hanspal

"Ryan is a fantastic teacher who always took the time to answer my incessant questions concisely and truly personalize my lessons. My knowledge and skills of guitar technique and improvisation improved dramatically in the short time I took lessons with him. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to expand their knowledge and skill of the instrument. It's especially nice that his playing is brilliant! That way, inspiration was always in reach."

                                                                           - Dom P. (Student)

 © 2020 by Ryan Carraher

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Composer :: Guitarist :: Improviser