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Celebrate The Music And Legacy Of Ray Charles With RAY ON MY MIND At MPAC

Ray on My Mind includes his most popular hits such as 'What'd I Say,” “I Got a Woman” and “Georgia on My Mind,” interwoven with stories of his life and career.

Celebrate The Music And Legacy Of Ray Charles With RAY ON MY MIND At MPAC

Enjoy a high-energy celebration of the music and life of Ray Charles as performed by Kenny Brawner when Ray on My Mind comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 19 at 3 pm. Tickets are $29-$59.

Ray on My Mind includes his most popular hits such as 'What'd I Say," "I Got a Woman" and "Georgia on My Mind," interwoven with stories of his life, his many musical styles and more.

This concert/theater work brings the music and the story of the great Ray Charles to vivid life. Portraying Ray, master pianist/vocalist, Kenny Brawner leads his 11-piece orchestra and three sultry vocalists (a la the Raelettees), performing this American legend's most popular hits. The music is interwoven with monologues depicting how gospel, blues, jazz, and country-influenced Ray's style, while also reflecting on American social history, his epic battle with drugs, and his triumphant return home to Georgia.

Ray On My Mind assembles an orchestra of profoundly accomplished musicians whose performances are ingrained in American popular culture. Members of the orchestra have been heard prolifically on Broadway, Off-Broadway, film, and television. They have performed all over the world and recorded with a diverse range of influential musical giants, including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Darius Rucker, Jennifer Hudson, Sonny Rollins, Big Daddy Kane, Bo Diddley, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the Mighty Sparrow, Roy Ayers, Sam & Dave, Ashford and Simpson, Gregory Porter, Boy George, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, David Murray, Eric Benet, Larry Coryell, John Popper, Lester Bowie, Shaggy, Ron Carter and Rihanna.

Kenny Brawner is a critically acclaimed keyboardist, vocalist, composer and actor, who as a musician, plays his own distinctive style of Jazz, Funk, R&B and Blues. For nearly a decade Mr. Brawner led and composed for a jazzfunk recording band called "Raw Sugar." During that period, his funk composition Whups it on Me was chosen 'Showstopper of the Week' on WBLS in New York and featured with the band on the television show, Soul Train.

He presently leads a group called the Brawner Brothers Band known for its old-school sweet soul music, blues, Latin, African and jazz modes and volcanic funk. He has been featured with BB King and has dazzled in Blues Suite live on stage with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Kenny has also recently played lead theatrical roles as a blues man in both Dan Dietz's Clementine in the Lower 9 at Theatre Works in Mountain View, California and a blues based musical called The City Club, Off-Broadway in New York.

Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2022-2023 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. Mayo Performing Arts Center was named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres, and is ranked in the top 50 mid-sized performing arts centers by Pollstar Magazine.



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