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03 September 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1999


At unidentified concert. Photo by J. Glenn.

9 January 1999
Whiting Auditorium, Flint.

10 January 1999
Invitation-only, $1,000-per-plate Inaugural Committee Dinner for governor George Ryan, Illinois State Fairgrounds, at the Illinois State Armory.

14 January 1999
Inaugural event at Civic Center, Greater Des Moines; opening of the swearing-in of Gov.-elect Tom Vilsack.

22 and 23 January 1999
With the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, Minnesota.

February 1999
Gig at unidentified occasion:
Photo by Jason Szenes.

3 February 1999
Working at RPM.

12 February 1999
Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Wilberforce University See this.
Ray's acceptance speech (as offered on Ebay).

13 February 1999
With the Knoxville Pops Orchestra at Coliseum, Knoxville.
Undated photos taken in Knoxcille, possibly at this concert.
17 February 1999
DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz of North America, Montvale, N.J., kicks off a 10-city promotion to pre-launch its 2000-model S-Class sedan. Park Avenue Productions, New York, created and produced the invitation-only "S-clusively Yours" events, which included local sports stars, fashion, music by Ray Charles and food from chef Daniel Boulud.

23 February 1999
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

25 February 1999
Private concert engagement at the Dallas Market Center.

6 March 1999
Civic Theatre with Civic Akron Symphony, Akron ("brought a little Las Vegas, a touch of mellow fun and a whole bunch of style to the Civic stage").

9 March 1999
Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

13 March 1999
Colonial Theatre, Idaho Falls.

15 March 1999
Presenter for Billy Joel’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. See this.

17 to 20 March 1999
The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.

17 March 1999
Interviewed by Ed Bernstein. See this.

21 March 1999
Private Function, Las Vegas.

27 March 1999
Opening of Pratt Industries Mulligator plant in Conyers.

30 March 1999
In concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall.

3 April 1999
4th annual N'Digo Foundation Hall at Orchestra Hall's Symphony Center, Michigan; tickets $50-1$100; $175 for gala.

10 April 1999
Fabulous Fox Theater, St. Louis.

15 April 1999
Urban League's 26th Annual Dinner at the Los Angeles Ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel.

16 and 17 April 1999
Chapman Music Hall, Tulsa Performing Arts Center; with Tulsa Philharmonic; tickets: $15-$70 (17th bootlegged; see this).

21 and 22 April 1999
April Jazz Espoo at the Espoo Cultural.

23 to 25 April 1999
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (billed with Santana, Willie Nelson, and Buckwheat Zydeco). See this. Photo here.

Photos by Michael Sheehan.

28 April 1999
At ASCAP Awards.

13 May 1999
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (bootlegged; possibly confusion with concert at Clyde Auditorium; cf. 26 May). See this.
Photo by Marc Marnie, possibly from this concert.

17 May 1999
Concert at New York State Theatre.

19 May 1999
Private engagement in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Resort in Amelia Island, Florida.

20 May 1999
15th Annual Griffin Gala at John Harms Center, Englewood; read this.

26 May 1999
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow (bootlegged); tickets L 15-22.50 ("There was a real momentum to the performance; each number building tension to an almost unbearable pitch"; "Cackling like a sailor with a weekend pass, Charles smiled his way through his entire set. He even managed to grin and sing at the same time"). See this, this, this and this.
With Richard Niles (unknown date & location).

28 to 30 May 1999
Harrah's, Lake Tahoe.

June or July 1999
At the Sthlm Jazz Fest. See this.

5 and/or 6 June 1999
In concert with Oregon Sympohony.

10 June 1999
Flint Center, Cupertino.

11 June 1999
Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa, Kelseyville.

12 June 1999
Marin Center, San Rafael.

13 June 1999
21st Annual Playboy Festival, Hollywood Bowl ("it's a pleasure to report that Ray Charles vanquished memories of previous auto-pilot appearances here by turning in one of his best Bowl sets ever. The soul sorcerer was really engaged, bearing down for an intensely moving "Just for a Thrill," playing some marvelously funky blues licks and deliciously simulated vibes on his Yamaha keyboard. Do we dare hope for a fruitful Indian summer in the 21st century from Brother Ray?"; see review here). 
Undated photos taken at the Hollywood Bowl, possibly at this concert.

14 June 1999
Humphrey's, San Diego.
JVC Festival, New York.

16 June 1999
JVC Newport Jazz Festival, New York.

17 June 1999
Celebrity Theater, Phoenix. 

18 June 1999
Janus Jazz Aspen, at Snowmass Village; double bill with Diana Krall opening. But Ray's voice was really gone here. The Ray Charles Orchestra played an extended instrumental 1/2 set, and then the 2nd half of the set featured the band with the Raelettes. After that Diana Krall came back out and did an extra song or 2 to close the show. "Obviously much of the crowd was disappointed to not hear Ray. I think he came out on stage and bowed briefly," Brad Rabuchin recalls. 

19 June 1999
AppleJazz Festival at SUNY Cortland Campus.

25 June 1999
JVC Jazz Festival, Avery Fisher Hall (canceled because of acute laryngitis).

26 June 1999
125th anniversary season at Chautauqua Institution - canceled.

27 June 1999
At M&T Jazz fest, Syracuse - canceled ("Ray Charles has canceled his performance at this year's M&T Bank Jazz Fest - Syracuse. The legendary singer and piano player is booked to play a tour in Europe instead and also has scrapped shows in Baltimore, Buffalo and Pennsylvania. Charles' contract with the Jazz Fest had a 30-day escape clause, exercised by his handlers at the William Morris Agency late last week").

30 June 1999
Forum de Liège, with BBC big band; review here.

Early July 1999
Ray Charles "canceled his show in New York last month because he lost his voice. Mr. Ray Charles is under my care for acute laryngitis," his doctor wrote to concert promoters. "He must be on voice rest for the next week, and will be unable to perform during that time".

For the European gigs following below, Ray just brought his rhythm section (Brad Rabuchin on guitar, Peter Turre on drums and Curt Ohlson on bass). Working for two promoters simultaneously, Ray took 21 shows in 22 or 23 days, a brutish schedule, that made him lose his falsetto - for ever.
Peter Turre wrote: "[...] This was a very difficult tour for Ray, and I gained new perspective on how determined he could be (although it really shouldn't have surprised me). [...] The doctors told him to quit smoking, and take 6 months off. He took ONE. We then went to Europe and did 21 cities in 22 days. It pretty much permanently cost him his upper register/falsetto. The first part of the tour was a week of symphony gigs (Victor Vanacore conducted those) and trio & Raelette gigs with a local big band (I  conducted those [...]). One night while riding back to the hotel in the limo with him, I asked him WHY he was doing this. He said 'Peter, this was booked as a 40th anniversary tour. These people have kept me working for FOURTY years. I OWE them. And I need to keep YOU guys working too.' It was humbling to hear this from a man who had given so much to the world."

2 July 1999
Concert in Lancaster - canceled.

2 July 1999 
In Souvenirs Du Festival De Jazz (air date; footage from 1983). See this.
Vienna Jaz Festival at State Opera house. After Curt Ohlson fell sick (he passed out, and had to be taken away in an ambulance) during a rehearsal, Brad Rabuchin subbed on bass. Photos here
Photo by Roland Schlager.

3 July 1999
At the Rheingau Musik Festival, at Schloss Johannisberg, with the HR Big Band (televized), and Brad Rabuchin still subbing on bass. See this.

5 July 1999
Nils Johnson flown in to sub on bass during the rest of the Europe tour.
Concert at Elf Raffinerie, Leuna, Germany. 

7 July 1999

15 July 1999
Molde Jazz Festival, with the whole orchestra and The Raelettes. See this.

17 July 1999
At Pori Jazz Festival, in Pori, Finland; sources suggest that the band performed both on 17 July (on the  Workshop stage), and on 18 July (at Kirjurinluoto), but this is conflicting with the next record.
Musicians: Rudy Johnson, Al Jackson, Craig Bailey, Al Waters, Terrence Goss - saxophone; Ted Murdock, Dave Hoffman, Larry Foyen, Kenny Scharf - trumpet; Michel Guerrier, Dupor D. Georges, Wayne Coniglio, Steve Sigmund - trombone; Bradley Rabuchin - guitar; Nils Johnson - bass; Richmond Taylor - keys; Peter Turre - drums. Raelettes: Estella Yarbrough, Tangy Biggers, Karen Evans, Katrina Harper, Tonette McKinney.
Photo by Juha Metso.

18 July 1999
At Swing In Festival in Deauville.

20 July 1999
Arènes de Nîmes. With Big Bang, and ?Quartet?
Coll. André Monnot.
Arrival in Nimes, probably for this concert.
Nimes Arena during a (probably this) Ray Charles concert.

21 July 1999
Jazz À Juan, Antibes. Photos here and here.

Center court at the Puente Romano Tennis Club, Marbella.

24 July 1999
At Second international jazz festival, Plaza de Toros in Alicante.

28 July 1999
Roma Live Festival, Rome. 
Read interview here and here.

29 July 1999
Villa Bonin, Vicenza.

5 August 1999
Grand Rapids Junior College, Grand Rapids.

6 August 1999
Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh ("I heard Ray Charles use the f-word. Twice. And he used it with passion. It happened early in the legendary soul man's performance [...], when he realized a speaker was out in his keyboard setup and nobody seemed to be lifting a finger to fix it, despite repeated calls on Charles' part for someone to find his assistant").

7 August 1999
Westbury Music Fair, Westbury.

8 August 1999
Wolf Trap Filene Center, Vienna.
Air date of benefit for the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind at the James L. Knight Center with guest Diane Schuur, accompanied by a large symphony orchestra, his own rhythm section plus lead trumpet Steve Sigmund, Roger Ingram (tr) and Dante Luciano (tb); Victor Vanacore was musical director. Sigmund was responsible for providing Ray with a PC88 because his own keyboard did not arrive from LA. See this.

?11? August 1999
Marciac, with rhytm section, David Newman and  Georges Arvanitas. See this.

12 to 15 August 1999
Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City.

14 August 1999
Recording of In The Spur Of The Moment, at Avatar Studios in New York. See this.

18 August 1999
Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta.

18 August 1999
Illinois State Fair Grandstand in Springfield.

20 August 1999
Gold Strike Casino Resort (Millennium Theatre), Robinsonville; tickets $27.50-$32.50.

21 August 1999
Silver Star Casino, Philadelphia.

22 August 1999
Lake Charles Civic Center, Lake Charles.

25 August 1999
Soaring Eagle Casino Concert Hall, Mount Pleasant. 

26 August 1999
Leelanau Sands Casino Showroom, Suttons Bay. 

27 August 1999
2nd Madison Blues Festival, Olin Park, Madison.

28 August 1999
Headlined the 14th annual Taste of Blue Ash Festival in Blue Ash.

29 August 1999
Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston; tickets at $15-$25.

3 September 1999
Madison Blues Fest at Olin-Turville Park.

3 to 5 September 1999
Jones Hall For Performing Arts, Houston.

10 September 1999
Adena Springs Farm, Lexington.

12 September 1999
Rocket from the Crypt,  with Cake, Royal Crown Revue, a.o., at Street Scene, San Diego.

15 September 1999
Chateau Ste Michelle, Woodinville. Read review here.

17 and 18 September 1999
Chrysler Hall, Norfolk; backed by the Virginia Symphony. 

23 September 1999
Invitation-only concert at Meyerhoff Hall with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

29 September to 3 October 1999
Showroom Casino, The Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas.

3 October 1999
With Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City.

23 October 1999
With Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City ("the ravages of age haven't hurt his voice. To the contrary, they have made it better, Ray Charles-style, taking something that was rough around the edges and making it rough all the way through").

5 or 7 November 1999
Mercedes-Benz Drive for Excellence, fund-raiser in Kansas.

6 November 1999
With Symphony Orchestra in Richmond; tickets $20-$45.

8 November 1999
Concert in Milan with the Symphonic Orchestra of Genova (videotaped). See this.
a/o With Smerald symphonic orchestra at Teatro Carlo Felice in Milan.
(Collection Ezio Drappo).

11 November 1999
In Nice, probably for a concert, meeting blind writer Claude Garrandes.
Sharing braille with Claude Garrandes

14 November 1999
Sanremo, 50th anniversary of festival. See this.

16 November 1999
Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples.

17 November 1999
Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale.

19 November 1999
Ruth Eckerd Hall at Richard B. Baumgardner Center for Performing Arts, Clearwater; tickets $35-$40. 

22 November 1999
Center For Performing Arts, Gainesville.

24 November 1999
Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Palm Beach ("Maybe it was just the night or perhaps just his mood, but Charles sounded something much worse than old last Wednesday: he sounded perfunctory. The incredible range of vocal shadings was there - the indecipherable grunts, moans, and squeals; the keening falsetto; the rich, grizzled baritone that already sounded ancient, or perhaps timeless, 40 years ago - but they were delivered without much evident joy or sorrow"; read review here).

11 December 1999
Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama; review here.

17 December 1999
Koriyama Bunka Center in Fukushima Prefecture.

18 December 1999
Nakano Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo.

19 December 1999
Aichi-ken Geijutsu Gekijo Dai Hall in Nagoya.

21 December 1999
Festival Hall in Osaka.  
On CNN Evening News' Voices of The Millennium. See this.

22 December 1999
Hokkaido Kosei Nenkin Kaikan in Sapporo.

23 December 1999
Hotel Okura in Tokyo.

30 December 1999
Opryland Hotel's Grand Celebration 2000, Nashville; with Dolly Parton (4-night package at $1,999).

31 December 1999 - 1 January 2000
In ABC 2000, The Millennium. See this.

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