3/26/2012 8:03:00 AM Ray Brown Jr. to kick off 'Jazz splash' with Sedona concert
If You Go ...
What: Ray Brown Jr. Concert
When: Saturday, April 7, 6-8:30 p.m.
Where: Sedona Creative Life Center, 333 Schnebly Hill Road, Sedona
How much: Advance $35 Door $38.50
More info: 928-237-7908, Milton Cannon
Ray Brown Jr. will perform in concert at the Sedona Creative Life Center on Saturday, April 7, 6 p.m. in honor of the Smithsonian Institute J.A.M. (Jazz Appreciation Month/April).
Ray will be joined by pianist Nicki Adams who resides in the San-Fran Bay plus a host of local and regional musicians signaling the kick-off of the Prescott Jazz Society 'Jazz Splash' 2012 season.
Ray was born in New York City and raised in a family of musical royalty (the son of singer Ella Fitzgerald and legendary jazz bass player Ray Brown). Ray is performing in Arizona for only the second time after having performed at the Arcosanti Juneteenth Festival in 2011.
Ray Brown, Jr. learned early to appreciate the beauty and artistry of music. Although the primary emphasis was jazz, Ray's heart was in rock and roll and rhythm and blues.
Ray studied piano at the age of 10. At 14, dad arranged for young Ray to study drumming. The singing drummer began playing private parties, graduating into the world of playing gigs. Ray continued to sing and play drums at nightclubs while studying.
He also began writing and composing. "On the road is where I honed my song-writing skills," says Ray.
For 15 years, Ray worked in bands and as a single artist, performing throughout the Pacific Northwest and in Canada, Alaska, Japan, Korea and Guam and doing Department of Defense tours.
"Because of my roots," says Ray, "people always assume I sing jazz or play jazz. People are surprised when I sing country or rock and roll. They have learned to expect some rhythm and blues, and I don't mind giving into the 'real deal,' having recorded with the late James Moody."
Ray displayed his versatile voice with his debut album "Slow Down For Love," a collection of light jazz and R&B songs composed, written and arranged by Ray. His second album, "Committed From The Heart," released in 2003, again with all tunes composed, written and arranged by Ray marked the yea of Ray's debut on the Las Vegas Strip performing five nights a week in the Le Bistro Theater at the Riviera Hotel & Casino.
"In the studio, the spontaneity is there, but it's controlled," says Ray. "But when it's live, it's all hanging out. It's an adventure and I love it."