R A Y B L U E
Sunday, March 8, 2020
The world-travelling Ray Blue, performer/educator/composer, is coming to First Presbyterian Church Sunday, March 8. He will help us glorify God during worship, conduct a jazz workshop after worship, and perform in concert in the sanctuary at 3 p.m. We welcome him back and are grateful for his connection to First Presbyterian Church.
Ray founded the non-profit Cross Cultural Connection to promote jazz culture, jazz performance, jazz education, and mentorship to individuals, schools, and colleges to reach across the generations.
Ray’s newest CD reached #7 on the Jazzweek Chart in December and can be purchased on Amazon, iTunes, Believe Network, Spotify and many other online outlets.
He will be preforming several times in Cedar Rapids–at The Jazz Foundation of America Concert with the Dick Watson Quartet, and at the ASPA Fundraising Concert before going to Germany for a series of concerts.
Ray Blue’s music can be described as a fusion of straight ahead jazz and rhythmic groove. Ray is a New York bred saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator who performs internationally.
Over the years he has shared the stage and studio as a leader, a sideman and a band member with John Gilmore, Dr. Art Davis, Benny Powell, Eddie Henderson, Kirk Lightsey, Charlie Persip Super Band, Clifford Adams, Wycliff Gordon, Bernard Purdie, Steve Turre, Ted Curson, Joe Lee Wilson, Alicia Keys, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Cotton Club All Stars and many others.
He was also a cast member of the “Ray Charles Show” which toured in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy 2008 to 2010.
His festival performances as leader and featured artist include: Hartford Jazz Festival, Hartford, Connecticut; Zanzibar International Film Festival, Zanzibar, Tanzania; North Sea Jazz Festival-Cape Town, South Africa; Macufe Festival- Bloemfontain, South Africa; European Union Annex Festival-Dublin, Ireland; Audi Jazz Festival, Brussels, Belgium; Macao Jazz Festival, China; Midi Music Festival-Beijing, China; Pori Jazz Festival, Finland and others.
After receiving a graduate degree from the University of Iowa, Ray returned to New York, got re-connected on the scene and studied at the Jazz Mobile with Charles Davis, Stanton Davis and later with Paul Jeffrey, Charlie Lagond, Sonny Sharrock and Barry Harris. Some of his mentors include Arthur Blythe, Houston Person, Ornette Coleman and Benny Powell.
Ray Blue is also a graduate of Wm. Penn University, which annually presents “The Ray Blue Jazz Award” since 2004 to a graduating senior. In addition, Wm. Penn University hosted its inaugural “Jazz Education Festival” in 2007 for High School and College musicians in Ray Blue’s name. They also presented Ray the “Distinguished Career Award“ in 2010. Ray is a 2013 “New York Blues Hall of Fame” inductee – Master Blues and Jazz Artist. His awards include: 2015 Iowa Juneteenth “Jazz Legacy Award”, 2016 “Arts Education Award”, 2017 “Living Legacy Award”.
Ray released his first CD as a leader, Always with a Purpose, in 2001. Then came Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater in 2004 and Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater 2 in 2005. In 2006 Ray released ‘Transvision’ on the Neu Klang label and Berries and Blues in 2010.
Ray Blue consults and presents at schools, colleges, universities and communities and institutions around the world. He is the founder of Cross-Cultural Connection, Inc. a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that promotes jazz culture, performance and education. He endorses GB Saxophones and Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and accessories.