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Guitarist Scofield Pays Tribute to Ray Charles

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October 4, 2005 | by Judy Moore
John Scofield

John Scofield

Renowned jazz guitarist John Scofield will pay tribute to Ray Charles and his music at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.

The program, featuring songs from Scofield’s recent, critically-acclaimed Verve compact disc, “That’s What I Say: John Scofield Plays the Music of Ray Charles,” will include Charles’ hits “What’d I Say,” “Night Time Is The Right Time,” “Unchain My Heart,” and other classics.

Scofield will be joined on stage by lead vocalist Meyer Statham, bassist John Benitez, drummer Steve Hass, and B-3 organist Gary Versace.

“That’s What I Say” honors Ray Charles, whose influence on Scofield was decisive both in terms of his deep soulfulness and his refusal to be pigeonholed musically and stylistically. This project also allowed Scofield to realize his ambitions of performing and recording with vocalists. (The recording features special guest vocalists John Mayer, Aaron Neville, rock singer Dr. John and Mavis Staples).

In paying homage to the legendary Ray Charles, Scofield says, “This is music I’ve known since I first started to play the guitar. Ray’s music was one of my inspirations: He was a super soul-music man, but he was a jazz musician, too. I see him as the height of honest expression.”

During his career, Scofield has released more than 30 albums and collaborated with numerous jazz luminaries including Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Jerry Mulligan and McCoy Tyner.

Single tickets for the Oct. 17 performance are $20 for the general public; $18 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for students.

To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or go to www.pickstaiger.com.