Studio Tenn explores genius of Ray Charles

By Amy Stumpfl for The Tennessean

Whether it was gospel, rhythm and blues, country or rock and roll, Ray Charles had a way of bringing his own unique style to every song he ever sang. And with “The Ray Legacy: A Tribute to the Soulful Genius,” Studio Tenn Theatre Company promises a unique celebration of Charles’ vast influence and unmistakable sound.

As with the company’s previous Legacy productions, “The Ray Legacy” offers no narration or dialogue. But according to artistic director Matt Logan, this “theatrical concert” format “allows the music to speak for itself.”

“One of the things that really separated Ray Charles was his ability to interpret the music,” he says. “His stylistic diversity allows us to go a little deeper, looking at some of his early stuff and exploring different sounds. It’s a fine line, because we certainly don’t want it to feel like a cover band. And yet we don’t want to lose those elements that are identifiable as Ray, either."

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