The most memorable songs made famous by the legendary Ray Charles – numbers like “Georgia On My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” – are performed by acclaimed artists from the worlds of jazz, gospel, Broadway and R&B: Yolanda Adams, Davell Crawford, Dianne Reeves and Jarrod Spector.

Music Director Ray Chew (Dancing with the Stars and American Idol) hosts Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles, a concert tribute to the great pianist and vocalist Ray Charles. An all-star cast offers thrilling interpretations of Charles’ most beloved recordings through the decades – from “America the Beautiful” to “Zig Zag.”

After 12 albums, five GRAMMY Awards and performances for several U.S. Presidents, Yolanda Adams is renowned for pioneering the blend of modern gospel music with soul and jazz. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2017 for her outstanding achievements in the Christian music industry, and has reigned on the radio airwaves as the host of The Yolanda Adams Morning Show.

Known as “The Prince of New Orleans,” pianist and singer Davell Crawford has become one of the true wonders of the Crescent City music scene. He tours the world, performing sold-out concerts, as a leading representative of American roots music, specifically New Orleans piano tradition. He has worked with Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Nona Hendrix, Roberta Flack and many other artists.

Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist, whose talents are on display in every song of her limitless repertoire. Her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings have earned her five GRAMMY Awards, an honorary doctorate from Juilliard, and a 2018 NEA Jazz Master honor. “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time,” says Wynton Marsalis.

Jarrod Spector was nominated for both a Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance as Barry Mann in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. He made his Broadway debut as Gavroche in the original production of Les Miserables, and went on to play a record-breaking 1,500 performances as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys on Broadway. He just finished his Broadway run as Sonny Bono in The Cher Show.

Currently in his 10th season as music director of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Ray Chew has been at the helm of award-winning musical events with Rihanna, Pitbull, Queen Latifah, James Taylor and many others. The former music director for Fox’s American Idol, he has music-directed The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, the 2008 Democratic National Convention, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and more.

This performance includes a brief awards ceremony.

Presented as part of the Women’s Association of NJPAC Spotlight Gala 2019 benefiting NJPAC’s general operating fund and its arts education programs.
Performance-only tickets are $50.
Performance and after-party benefit tickets are $250. Includes the performance, an after-party with NJPAC’s Dessert Extravaganza, open bar, and dancing with celebrity guest DJ KISS, spinning the classics and today’s hits.
For full Gala tickets and sponsorship information, email Sarah Rosen at srosen@njpac.org, call (973) 297-5806 or visit njpac.org/gala. Full Gala tickets include a cocktail reception, dinner, the performance in Prudential Hall, and after-party with dancing and the Dessert Extravaganza.