West L.A. Music Presents Ray Charles Tribute

Ray Charles Tribute Jam Session featuring Stevie Wonder on keyboards, West L.A. Music's John Burrola on sax, Ray Charles' bass player Tom Fowler and Ellis Hall on the Hammond B3.

LOS ANGELES, CA — West L.A. Music, along with Cakewalk, Manley Labs and M-Audio, presented a tribute jam session for Ray Charles, who passed away on June 10, 2004. The event was held at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles and included Ray's family, as well as friends from the music products industry, who gathered to pay tribute and celebrate his life and music.

The event featured a jam session led by Stevie Wonder, and included members of Ray's band along with the Raylettes, Ellis Hall and several West L.A. Music staff members. West L.A. Music's John Burrola, who joined the jam on saxophone said "It was something truly special. I never thought I'd get the chance to jam with someone as incredible as Stevie Wonder, especially in a tribute to the legendary Ray Charles."

Stevie Wonder spoke about how his music was influenced by Ray Charles and how Ray's voice had touched his heart and made him want to love deeper and reach out and embrace the world. Stevie said "When I started out I never thought I would meet Ray Charles and I never thought I would have the opportunity to perform with him, and I certainly never thought I would be speaking about him as I am tonight. We have lost a genius and a king of song."

Ray's friend and long time engineer Terry Howard stated "The tribute was one of the most fitting ways to send off our beloved friend. In the twenty years I have known Ray it was one of the most endearing relationships I have ever had both professionally and personally. I didn't hang out with Ray because of the fame and fortune. Ray could have been a poor black man on the back porch and I still would have been there to hear him play everyday."

Don Griffin, President of West L.A. Music stated "Ray was a close friend and we will miss his wit and humor. He made our lives special and we were fortunate and honored to know him on a personal level. West L.A. Music was privileged to handle Ray's music and recording equipment needs for so many years."

For more information, call West L.A. Music at 310-477-1945, or visit www.westlamusic.com.