SPRINGFIELD — Augusta native Kenny Brawner will take the Mars Theatre stage as another famous Georgia native, Ray Charles, on April 28 at 8 p.m.
This concert/theater work brings the music and the story of the great Charles to vivid life! Master pianist/vocalist Brawner will lead his 12-piece orchestra and three sultry vocalists, performing Charles' most popular hits: “What’d I Say?," “I Got A Woman," “Mess Around," “Georgia On My Mind," a blazing hot duet on “Baby It’s Cold Outside" and many more!
The music is interwoven with monologues depicting how gospel, blues, jazz and country influenced Charles' style, while also reflecting on American social history, his epic battle with drugs and his triumphant return to Georgia.
The Harlem-based Brawner Brothers Band is known for its old school sweet soul music, blues, Latin, African and jazz modes — and volcanic funk. It has been featured with BB King and dazzled in Blues Suite — live and on stage with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 2008.
Kenny Brawner has played lead theatrical roles in Dan Dietz’s "Clementine In The Lower Nine," "Stew" and Heidi Rodewald's "Total Bent" and, most recently, a Canadian Stage musical theater production of "What Makes A Man," which featured the music of Charles Aznavour, one of the world’s last surviving “showmen."
"Ray On My Mind" assembles an orchestra of profoundly accomplished musicians whose performances are ingrained in American popular culture. Members of the orchestra have been heard prolifically on Broadway, Off-Broadway, film and television. They have performed all over the world and recorded with a diverse range of influential musical giants, including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Darius Rucker, Jennifer Hudson, Sonny Rollins, Big Daddy Kane, Bo Diddley, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the Mighty Sparrow, Roy Ayers, Sam & Dave, Ashford and Simpson, Gregory Porter, Boy George, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, David Murray, Eric Benet, Larry Coryell, John Popper, Lester Bowie, Shaggy, Ron Carter and Rihanna.
The "Ray On My Mind" show will feature The Raelettes, a combination of three truly talented and gifted ladies.
Tickets cost $35 floor/$30 balcony and can be purchased at marstheatre.com or by calling 754-1118.
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Beer and wine are available.