Forever Ray and Montclair’s Jazz House Kids brings rhythm.
Outpost in the Burbs hosted a concert that was different from most of their past shows. Instead of the usual folk/rock music acts, this show featured jazz performers, specifically Montclair’s Jazz House Kids and Forever Ray, arguably the best and most renowned Ray Charles tribute band. They kept the audience dancing their hardest and cheering and clapping the loudest.
The Jazz House Kids contains three big bands and two ensembles. The ensemble that performed was the Jazz Organ Messengers, whose members range from sixth-graders to high school seniors. They may be young, but their talent is not meant to be underestimated in any way, and that showed in numbers performed such as “Philadelphia Organ” and “Big George.”
The other “belles of the ball,” Forever Ray, roused up the entire packed audience so much that they recognized them more as their “rhythm section” than a mere audience. When a female member of the band, originally from Detroit, got the crowd to engage and participate, her magic worked quickly and everyone started waving hands, cheering, clapping and dancing. If Ray Charles himself were still alive and among the crowd that night, he surely would have many joyful, grateful tears in his eyes and dancing along.
Forever Ray kept the rhythm section alive and working with their renditions of “Julep,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” the bluesy “Fool for You,” “Good Times,” “I Love Her So,” “Mary Ann” and a few others.
Hopefully both the the Jazz House Kids and Forever Ray will be back at Outpost many times and have an even larger rhythm section to help complete their songs!
On June 13, Indigenous and special guest Danileia Cotton will perform at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair. This will be the last Outpost show of the season on Sunday June 22. The performance will feature Dan Bern and Ari Hest, but the venue is at the Van Vleck House and Gardens, located on 21 Van Vleck Street in Montclair. Get your tickets while you can!