Ray Charles Tribute Band Lights Up McConnell Arts Center

The Ray Charles Tribute Band with Roger Hines will play as part of the Peggy R. McConnell Art Center’s Thursday Night Concert Series this Thursday February 21st at 8pm.

Roger Hines is an OSU music school grad and currently a professor at Capital University. In 1980, Hines left his NYC jazz club, acoustic bass playing lifestyle for LA, where he picked up an electric bass to play with Ray Charles. For six years Hines performed, recorded, and toured with Charles. He contributed to albums such as Spirit of Christmas and Live at The Warsaw Jazz Festival and even played bass for Charles’s Diet Pepsi commercial “You Got The Right One Baby.”

Although Hines has traveled the world playing jazz bass with many jazz musicians and ensembles, his six years with Ray Charles and their over twenty year long friendship had the greatest influence on him. He thinks of Ray Charles as his “musical grandfather” who “took the time to give [Hines] some of himself to make [him] a better player and a better listener.”

Moments of learning often occurred in the recording studio. During daylong sessions of Charles mixing Hines’ bass tracks with his vocal and piano tracks, Charles taught Hines how to “play strong and construct a strong musical bass line along with a very deep groove.” Looking at Hines’s amazing experiences with Charles his dedication to Charles’s legacy is no surprise.

Forming this tribute band with other musicians filled with energy and love for Charles and jazz music is Hines’s way of passing Charles’s music and performances onto jazz lovers, new and old. In Hines words, “Ray was all about making people feel good and really that’s all this tribute band is about.”

Tickets are $8 online, $10 at the door, $5 for students, free for children 12 and under


A video of Roger Hines and Ray Charles playing together:


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