Maceo Parker's 'To Ray with Love'

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Monday October 02, 2017

From Compton Herald

Maceo Parker’s Ray Charles tribute ‘To Ray with Love’, Oct. 19

In the fall of 1963, Parker was standing out the back of The Coliseum in Greensboro’, N.C., waiting to catch a glimpse of anyone from the band. After only seeing strangers, the band eventually spilled n out followed, finally, by the man himself, Ray Charles. The awestruck young saxophonist muttered to himself “One of these days you’re all gonna know me!” Now, over half a century later, Parker brings it full circle as he performs with the original 21-piece Ray Charles Orchestra and The Raelettes, Ray’s female backing vocalists who sang with him all those years ago.

“Maceo Parker’s ‘To Ray with Love’ is the perfect start to The Soraya’s Swinging Jazz series,” said Thor Steingraber, executive director of the VPAC. “Parker is the first of several American jazz, and indeed the first funk masters who will grace our stage this year.”

Parker is one of the founding fathers of funk and Charles’ music has remained an undeniable influence throughout his career. Maceo has included a Ray Charles cover on each one of his albums and in 1993/94 the two icons toured with Parker serving as the opening act for one of his idols.

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