Ray Charles

Aptly referred to as “The Genius” by his colleagues, Ray Charles, pioneer of soul music in the mid-20th century, helped bridge the space between blues and jazz. By combining these genres while incorporating elements of gospel and even country music into his songs, he was able to create the enchanting new musical category quickly to become known as soul. Since the 1950s, Ray Charles’s gently peppy vocals punctuated by the graceful percussive energy of his piano playing have continued to delight listeners of all walks of life, while endlessly inspiring budding and professional musicians of all genres.