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TCNJ Jazz Ensemble Celebrates Michael Ray: A Lifetime of Musical Achievement

As the centerpiece of its 100th anniversary celebration, the TCNJ Department of Music, in collaboration with Trenton Makes Music, presents guest artist, internationally renowned trumpeter, and Trenton native Michael Ray.

Mr. Ray will join the TCNJ Jazz Ensemble for a performance featuring iconic pieces from his days as a member of Kool and the Gang and Sun Ra and The Arkestra, two of the most musically influential groups of the 20th century. The evening concert will cap off a weeklong residency of teaching, rehearsals, master classes, and community outreach by Mr. Ray and the members of his touring ensemble.

Fall 2018 artist residency events:

I: Master class with Michael Ray

Monday, Nov. 5, 7–8 p.m.
Kendall Main Stage Theater
Mr. Ray will share 50 years of professional music business and entertainment experience, including his perspectives on the social, cultural, political, and economic forces influencing the production, performance, and consumption of music in local communities and global societies.

II: Open Rehearsal with TCNJ Jazz Ensemble

Monday, Nov. 5, 8:30–10 p.m.
Kendall Main Stage Theater

III: Vocal Workshop with Laranah Phipps-Ray

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 6:30–8 p.m.
Music Building Choir Room (027)
Mrs. Phipps-Ray will introduce students to TheSingMethod™ and orient them to the challenges and opportunities of being a professional singer, emphasizing her supportive approach to finding your truth and grounding yourself in it.

IV: Jazz Ensemble Concert with Mr. Ray and members of The Cosmic Krewe

Friday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m.
Kendall Main Stage Theater
This event will feature a format of live interviews, stories, and mixed media interspersed with iconic musical selections from Mr. Ray’s days as a member of Kool and the Gang and Sun Ra and The Arkestra. Reception to follow.

Tickets available through the TCNJ Center for the Arts box office.

For more information, please see

Project Partners:

Trenton Makes Music
TCNJ School of the Arts and Communication
TCNJ Departments of Music, Interactive Multimedia, African American Studies, Journalism and Professional Writing
TCNJ Cultural and Intellectual Community Council
Don Evans Memorial Fund, Peter and Mary Russo Fund