A TRIBUTE TO RAY CHARLES ray Charles – Hits and classicsHallelujah I Love Her So, Georgia On My Mind, Baby, It's Cold Outside, Unchain My Heart, You Are My Sunshine, I Believe To My Soul, I Got A Woman, You Don't Know Me, Please Send Me Someone To Love, What'd I Say, Night Time Is The Right Time ConductorMichael Abene / Soloists Kevin Mahogany, Jocelyn B. Smith / MAHLER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA and WDR Bigband
The MCO and WDR Big Band Cologne team up to create a rousing, stirring jazz orchestra for a tribute to Ray Charles in La Scala, Milan. Hits and classics like Georgia On My Mind, Hallelujah I Love Her So and Unchain My Heart have been re-arranged especially for this evening and its unique ensemble – mostly by Michael Abene, long-time music director of the WDR Big Band, himself.
Leader and soloists this evening all hail from the USA: Michael Abene grew up in a musical family with Italian roots in New York and has been a successful conductor, composer, arranger and pianist for over five decades. Jocelyn B. Smith, also born in New York, has lived in Berlin since 1984. She became famous for her moving interpretation of Amazing Grace during the memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Finally, Kevin Mahogany is from Kansas City and is at home playing bebop, ballads, blues and swing. He steps in for this concert after Thomas Quasthoff, who had originally planned the programme, decided in January 2012 to bring his stage career to an end for health reasons.
The concert is being recorded by WDR Radio. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
Benefit concert for the Italian association in the fight against cancer.