By Mabel Pais

“NJPAC is pushing its way into a new future, and being very imaginative and very intentional about the breadth of its vision and connectivity”

– Marcia Wilson Brown, Board President of Women’s Association of NJPAC (NJPAC-WA)

Extreme left: Ray Charles.
Top Row: (left) Diana Reeves, Jarrod Spector
Bottom Row: left to right: Yolanda Adams, Davell Crawford, Ray Chew.
Photo / Courtesy, NJPAC.

Performances by
Yolanda Adams | Davell Crawford | Dianne Reeves | Jarrod Spector l Music Director Ray Chew (from Bergen County)

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women’s Association (NJPAC-WA) celebrates The Music of Ray Charlesat its Annual Spotlight Gala on Saturday September 28, 2019at 8:30 p.m. This star-studded performance will pay tribute to the music of Ray Charles, who performed at the very first Women’s Association Spotlight Gala.

The most memorable songs made famous by the legendary Ray Charles– numbers like “Georgia On My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” – are performed by acclaimed artists from the worlds of jazz, gospel, Broadway and R&B: Yolanda Adams, Davell Crawford, Dianne Reeves and Jarrod Spector.

Music Director Ray Chew(“Dancing with the Stars” and American Idol”) hosts Celebrating the Music ofRay Charles,” a concert tribute to the great pianist and vocalist Ray Charles. An all-star cast offers thrilling interpretations of Charles’ most beloved recordings through the decades – from “America the Beautiful” to “Zig Zag.”

After 12 albums, five GRAMMY Awards and performances for several U.S. Presidents, Yolanda Adams is renowned for pioneering the blend of modern gospel music with soul and jazz. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2017 for her outstanding achievements in the Christian music industry, and has reigned on the radio airwaves as the host of “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show.

Known as “The Prince of New Orleans,” pianist and singer Davell Crawford has become one of the true wonders of the Crescent City music scene. He tours the world, performing sold-out concerts, as a leading representative of American roots music, specifically New Orleans piano tradition. He has worked with Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Nona Hendrix, Roberta Flack and many other artists.

Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist, whose talents are on display in every song of her limitless repertoire. Her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings have earned her five GRAMMY Awards, an honorary doctorate from Juilliard, and a 2018 NEA Jazz Master honor. “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time,” says Wynton Marsalis.

Jarrod Spectorwas nominated for both a Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance as Barry Mann in “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.” He made his Broadway debut as Gavroche in the original production of “Les Miserables,” and went on to play a record-breaking 1,500 performances as Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway. He just finished his Broadway run as Sonny Bono in “The Cher Show.”

Ray Chew,currently in his 10th season as music director of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” has been at the helm of award-winning musical events with Rihanna, Pitbull, Queen Latifah, James Taylor and many others. The former music director for Fox’s “American Idol,” he has music-directed “The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards,” the “2008 Democratic National Convention,” “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” and more.

This performance includes a brief awards ceremony.

Presented as part of the Women’s Associationof NJPACSpotlight Gala 2019benefiting NJPAC’s general operating fund and its arts education programs.


Performance-only tickets are available. 

Performance and After-Party Benefit Tickets include the performance, and after-party with NJPAC’s Dessert Extravaganza, open bar, and dancing with celebrity guest DJ KISS, spinning the classics and today’s hits. These tickets are also available.

For Ticketsto see the Music of Ray Charles, visit NJPAC.org or the NJPACBox Office or call 888.GO.NJPAC(888.466.5722).


Full Gala tickets include a cocktail reception, dinner, the performance in Prudential Hall, and after-party with dancing and the Dessert Extravaganza.

For full Gala tickets and sponsorship information, email Sarah Rosen [email protected],call (973) 297-5806 or visit njpac.org/gala

 (Mabel Paiswrites on the Arts and Entertainment, Social Issues, Spirituality, and Health & Wellness.  She can be reached at [email protected])


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