“Matuto’s well-thought out musical program explained American culture and how the fabric of our country was woven song by song, from the days of colonization right up to the 20th century, in an extremely effective, thoughtful, and inspirational way.” – Kate Bentley - Deputy Cultural Attaché - U.S. Embassy London 

 “Not only a gifted artist and musician, Clay possesses that rare talent of being able to connect with people, regardless of age, nationality, or background.  Whether it’s moving his audience by the story of American blues and getting them to passionately engage in a bluegrass call-and-response song of the 19th century or leading a workshop on independent music production and crowd funding as a source of revenue for aspiring musicians, Clay displays the best of American artistry and know-how and leaves them wanting more.” – Robert P. Sanders, U.S. Consulate General, Thessaloniki, Greece

 “Clay Ross is the perfect example of American excellence in music and the arts; he’s an excellent person to work with, and he connects well with people of all ages.  Clay is able to play in any setting; I had the privilege of seeing him creating music with university students, playing Greek traditional music, talking about American history through Folk and performing for different audiences.  With a band or group, or by himself, Clay is a superb musician and a great person to work with!” - Ioanna E. Koutsounanou, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Consulate General, Thessaloniki, Greece

“You can’t know a country if you don’t know its sound.  Clay takes his audiences through the loop of American music, from the early English and Scots-Irish inspired ballads, to fiery spirituals, to the dirty tones of delta blues and exuberant Dixieland beats.  Whether presenting to a university faculty, students from musical high schools or curious onlookers roped into the show, Clay grabs his audience and doesn’t let go.  Much more than just a bluegrass picker, Clay weaves his grassroots music into the grassroots history of the United States.  By the time his presentation is finished the songs stuck in everyone’s head have a story to go with them.” - Jonas Hogg - U.S. Embassy – Skopje, Macedonia

“Clay’s service to the London community was invaluable. You can’t place a value on a child’s smile. You can’t create outcome statistics to show that exact moment when a young musician “get’s it.” Clay Ross is more than just a musician. He is an educator. Clay inspired the underserved students of London with his gift of music and storytelling. He took the children through a historical journey starting with music sung by slaves and continuing through the Civil Rights movement in America. Clay’s enthusiasm is infectious and it showed on the face of each and every student. I highly recommend Clay to any Embassy as his message is as powerful as his music is beautiful.” - Bobby Adelson, Jr, US Embassy London

“Watching students in a regional Greek town become moved by the story of American blues and join passionately into a old-time call-and-response song of the 19th century is quite unique – but this is what Clay’s program achieved in his recent tour in Greece.  From a university class to a music conservatory, and from Athens to Corfu, Seres and Thessaloniki in the north of Greece, Clay brought to life the historical context of the birth of American roots and blues music, revealing, at the same time, how it has influenced today’s pop and hip hop sounds.  As he shaped the narrative, he skillfully highlighted important social issues, like immigration, the civil rights movement and human rights, that are relevant today both in U.S. and in Greece, thus making the program a starting point for broader discussion.  It was inspirational to see Clay connect with young students and draw them into the music, even inviting a young music student from his Corfu program to join him on stage and sing the jazz tune “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”  It was evident throughout his program that he truly cares about his workshops, students, and  audiences and inspires and nurtures everyone’s interest in music.” Laurie Weitzenkorn, Public Affairs Counselor, U.S. Embassy Athens, Greece

“Roll over Beethoven: American jazz guitarist Clay Ross spent four hours at Pristina’s performing arts high school, after which he and 30 kids put on a show including a piano, flute, guitar and tenor soloist en masse doo-wop version of “Hound Dog”, plus some gospel and a little blues. Ross’ musical talent is exceeded only by his gift for making large numbers of instant friends through any and all kinds of music. Although we had been assured by the Director of the school that her students had no interest in ‘that kind’ of music the kids apparently were not on the clearance page for the memo. We literally had to pry him out of the school and on to his next gig.” - Alex Laskaris (from his Mission wide Daily Report) Deputy Principal Officer, U.S. Office Pristina, Kosovo

“Resounding success: Macedonian students enthusiastically engaged in interactive workshops with Clay Ross, learning new rhythms and gaining insight into the creation of jazz through the contribution of many cultures. Many students attended the public concerts and were treated to a taste of the blues, bluegrass and jazz.” - U.S. Embassy of Macedonia

“We participated in the afternoon interactive rhythmic workshop presented by Clay Ross and members of his group. It was a moving experience. No, I mean it, we REALLY moved around.” -