The Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago presents
Genius Without Borders:
A Symposium in Honor of the Genius of Ray Charles
March 7-8, 2009
Paper sessions, lecture-demonstrations, and panel discussions on Ray Charles’s compositions, musical influences, life, and legacy
Join keynote speaker David Ritz, scholars and authors James Austin, Stanley Crouch, Fredara Hadley, Tammy Kernodle, Diane Pecknold, and Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., former Raelett Dr. Mable John, and musicians who performed with Charles’s band, including Marcus Belgrave (trumpet) and John Bryant (drums). The Ray Charles Foundation is collaborating with the CBMR to create a small exhibit of select Charles memorabilia.
Concord Music Group, Chicago Defender, Mesirow Financial, NBC 5, S. USA Life Insurance Inc., The Palmer House Hilton Hotel, U.S. Cellular, and WVON 1690 AM.
Program of Events
Wednesday, March 4
Screening of the movie Ray
Prescreen talk by Ray Falzone, Columbia College Film and Video Department, "Life As Myth/Myth As Life: The Story of Ray"
For Columbia College Chicago students
Film Row Cinema, 1104 South Wabash, 8th floor
Saturday, March 7
Registration open and Ray Charles memorabilia available for viewing
Film Row Cinema Lobby, 1104 South Wabash, 8th floor
9:00–10:00 a.m.: Session 1
"Hallelujah I Love Her So": The Gospel of Ray Charles
Horace Maxile (
Fredara Hadley (
), "'I Choose to Sing the Blues': The Impact of the Gospel Sound That Was and the Gospel Singer Who Wasn't"
10:15–11:15 a.m.: Session 2
Playing with Ray: Charles Band Members Panel
David Ritz (Ray Charles biographer), moderator
Dr. Mable John
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Session 3
"Genius + Soul = Jazz"
Stanley Crouch (author and African-American cultural critic)
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
2:00–3:00 p.m.: Session 4
"Blue Genius": Ray Charles's Rhythm and Blues
3:15–4:15 p.m.: Session 5
"Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music"
Michael Gray (Country Music Hall of Fame), moderator
James Austin (Independent Producer), "How Modern Sounds in Country and Western Affected Top 40 Radio"
Ray Charles Tribute Concert
CBMR New Black Music Repertory Ensemble
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State Street: enter on west side of building via the Plymouth Court entrance
Sunday, March 8
10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Session 6
The Business of Ray Charles: Past, Present, and Future
J. Dennis Rich (Chair, Department of Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management, Columbia College Chicago), moderator
Tony Gumina (President, Ray Charles Marketing Group)
Valerie Ervin (President, The Ray Charles Foundation), by videotape
Jerry D. Rothman (Legal Counsel for The Ray Charles Foundation)
Luncheon and Keynote Address
David Ritz, keynote speaker
"The Right Reverend Ray: His Spiritual Legacy"
Hilton Chicago, Waldorf Ballroom
Event Sponsors Chicago Football Classic
Concord Music Group
S. USA Life Insurance Inc.
The Palmer House Hilton Hotel
WVON 1690 AM.