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Take Five With Ray George

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Ray George:

Mixing... musical talent; acting bbility and audience participation. Ray George presents a uniquely different approach to the music and club scene.

Standards, oldies, vintage music. Songs ff Gershwin, Porter and Berlin. Oldies from Carol King, The Everly Brothers And Elvis. Mellow, vocal styling, with backings of light jazz combo group, pop arrangements and big band sounds. Variety, with swing!

Ray George puts the emphasis on vocal standards, pop standards and vintage oldies.

His interaction with the audience, engaging them in musical trivia competition, helps to keep the audience involved in his shows.

Instrument(s):

Vocalist.

Teachers and/or influences? Big Band; Swing and jazz music from the '30s and '40s.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I heard my first Big Band record. A 78 RPM on the jukebox in my parents' cafe.

Your sound and approach to music: Try for a club sound, sometimes intimate, sometimes brassy and bold.

Create backing tracks for vocal practice; keep reworking them until they are just right!

Make it swing, swing, swing!

Your teaching approach: I do not teach music.

Your dream band:

To be able to sing and to work with a live Big Band!

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Have never been on the road.

Favorite venue:

Have not found the perfect venue yet; but am still looking.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

No recordings available yet.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Benny Goodman's Swing Into Spring EP.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Keeping the music of the '30s and '40s alive, as well as the songwriters and artists of that period.

Did you know...

I used to be a folk singer, song writer and guitarist.

CDs you are listening to now: Right now, delving into old recordings and videos of the '30s and '40s Big Bands. I especially like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.

Desert Island picks:

Anything by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Glen Miller and Artie Shaw.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I prefer Swing music to the jazz of today.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

We must promote jazz music to younger folks, and instil in them a love and respect for jazz.

What is in the near future?

Forming my own jazz combo.

By Day:

None.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Priest or Monk.

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