Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 Talcott Mountain Music Festival continues on July 22 with A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond

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SIMSBURY, June 27, 2016 – Don’t miss this soulful celebration! The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Talcott Mountain Music Festival continues with A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond with “Ambassador of Soul” Ellis Hall on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center in Simsbury, CT. Rain date is Saturday, July 23. This concert will be conducted by Richard Carsey. Visit hartfordsymphony.org for tickets and information.

A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond is a salute to the R&B roots and deep passion for the heart and soul of music that featured artist Ellis Hall and Ray Charles shared. Hits include “Georgia on My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “Ain’t No Mountain,” “America the Beautiful,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” and “Let the Good Times Roll,” plus some incredible Ellis Hall originals!

About Ellis Hall

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Ellis Hall is an accomplished and prolific performer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a five-octave range. Hall has electrified audiences throughout the world for over four decades with soul-searing rhythm & blues as a songwriter, arranger, and producer.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Hall was diagnosed with glaucoma as an infant, and lost sight in his right eye early on. After doctors informed his parents that Hall would also eventually lose sight in his left eye, they moved the family to Boston so Ellis could attend the Perkins School for the Blind. While at Perkins, he mastered the bass, guitar, keyboards, piano, and drums, readying himself for the inevitable by practicing his instruments in the dark.

After creating The Ellis Hall Group, he was discovered by East Bay Soul sensations Tower of Power. He spent many years with the group, and the recording Power includes his composition “Some Days Were Meant for Rain.” Hall has also performed numerous musical icons, including Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael McDonald, Brett Michaels, James Taylor, John Mayer and his musical mentor, Ray Charles.

In 2001, Hall met the legendary musical icon Ray Charles, who was so taken with Hall’s performance power that he took the artist under his wing and eventually signed Hall as the only other artist on his label Crossover Records. He went on to work with Charles on the astounding album Straight Ahead, featuring an array of guest artists and the hit single “Gotta Get the Money.”  Hall’s time with Charles left an indelible impression and following the icon’s death, he created A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond,  a “soul celebration” in honor of The Master, which he has since performed with symphony orchestras across the US and Canada.

Hall has worked with some of the world’s most well-known conductors, including Marvin Hamlisch, Bob Bernhardt, William Eddins, Keith Lockhart, Steve Reineke, and Jeff Tyzik who first referred to Hall as the “Ambassador of Soul.” Hall has played for notable figures including Oprah Winfrey and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and he performed at the 75th annual Academy Awards alongside Catherine Zeta Jones and Queen Latifah. Hall’s passion for music has led him to share his powerful vocals on a variety of other projects including animation, film soundtracks, and acting.  He also served as advisor to Jamie Foxx on the set of the movie Ray.

The 2016 Talcott Mountain Music Festival continues through July 29. Concerts include:
Celebrate America: July 1
Starlets – The Women of Song: July 8
Appalachian Spring: July 15
A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond: July 22
Faithfully – A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Journey: July 29

CALENDAR LISTING:
HARTFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S TALCOTT MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL
A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond
Friday, July 22, 2016 ? 7:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows, Simsbury, CT
Ticket Information: Advance single lawn tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Adult single lawn tickets are $25 at the gate. Subscriptions to the 2016 Talcott Mountain Music Festival range in price from $100-$1420.  For more ticketing information, please contact HSO ticket services at 860-987-5900 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.
Additional Information: Gates open at 6:00 p.m. for all Talcott Mountain Music Festival concerts. Open to all ticket holders, the HSO Education Tent is open from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.; families can enjoy free activities such as music-themed games and crafts, the “Instrument Zoo,” and youth performances.  In the case of severe weather, this concert will be performed the following night (Saturday, July 22) at the same time.

The 2016 Talcott Mountain Music Festival is sponsored by The Richard P. Garmany Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Classic Hotels of Connecticut is the Concert Sponsor for the July 1 Celebrate America! concert.  Additional sponsor support comes from Falcetti Music, Paine’s Recycling and Rubbish Removal, Seabury Act Life Plan Community, UBS Realty Investors, Barnes Group, Global Atlantic Financial Group, Girard Brothers, Renbrook School, The Travelers, Viking Fuel Oil Company, JP Morgan Chase, Fitzgerald’s Foods, Robert Hensley & Associates, Motley Rice, LLC, Robinson & Cole, Murtha Cullina LLP, St. Francis Care Foundation, Simsbury Bank, Stanley Black & Decker, The Hartford, and United Healthcare, HB Live and Show Lighting. Generous support for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.