And that’s a good thing when an Augusta native returns home to pay tribute to music legend Ray Charles
A brand new hybrid concert/theater work brings the music and story of Ray Charles to vivid life. Portraying Charles, master pianist and vocalist Kenny Brawner, a native Augustan, leads his 12-piece orchestra and three sultry vocalists (a la Raelettes) in performing the American legend’s most popular hits.
Interweaving songs, Brawner depicts how gospel, blues, jazz and country music influenced the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s style. He also reflects on American social history, Charles’ battle with drugs and his triumphant return home to Georgia.
Brawner plays his own distinctive style of jazz, funk, R&B and blues. John Wilson of the New York Times once described his style as “rich, romantic with bold striking figures and a strong stomping beat.” Curt Davis of the New York Post called his writing, playing and singing “strong and assertive.”
For nearly a decade, Brawner led and composed for a jazz-funk recording band called “Raw Sugar.” During that period, his funk composition, “Whups it on Me” was chosen Showstopper of the Week on WBLS in New York, and another production collaboration with Onaje Allan Gumbs achieved success as well.
If You Go:
What: “Ray Charles on My Mind” featuring Kenny Brawner
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27
Where: Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center
How Much: $47
More Info: augustaamusements.com or (706) 726-0366