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Sugaray Rayford Blues Band with Deva Mahal

Shaftman Performance Hall • Presented by Jefferson Center
Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 8:00pm
Ticket Prices:

Bronze - $26

Silver - $32

Gold - $40

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Sugaray Rayford Blues Band

Sugaray Rayford is a revelation as he powerfully moans the blues….Blues in Britain Magazine 2013

Sugaray has fronted his own band since 2010, called the Sugaray Rayford Band. This band is currently made up of world-class musicians. Ralph Carter on bass who is also his writing partner, Gino Matteo on guitar, Leo Dombecki on keyboards, Lavelle Jones on drums, Allan Walker on sax, and Gary Bivona on trumpet. But the Sugaray Rayford Band is only one of his projects. As of May 2011, Sugaray became one of the lead vocalists for the Mannish Boys, who are under Delta Groove management. This international act performs 6-8 times a year. He sang lead vocals on 9 songs on Double Dynamite the Mannish Boys CD that won Best Traditional Blues Album in May 2013 at the Blues Music Awards. His first solo CD Blind Alley was a self-release in 2010, which garnered critical acclaim. His second solo CD Dangerous, was just released on 9/17/2013 under the Delta Groove label and debuted at # 2 on Blues Debut Chart, #6 on the Roots Music Chart and is currently #2 on The Living Blues Chart. Below is the journey that has taken Sugaray to this point in his career.

Texas born Caron “Sugaray” Rayford began his musical career at the age of 7 singing & playing drums in church, and his gospel influence can be heard and felt in his music. Rayford's phrasing is intimate and conversational and the soulful gravel in his voice hints at his firsthand experience with hardship. He grew up in Texas, his childhood marked by poverty and loss. He remembered a sad game he played with his brothers, a competition that determined who was skinniest by counting the number of belt holes left unused. His mother struggled to raise three boys alone while battling cancer. When she died, it was a kind of relief. "She suffered and we suffered," Rayford said. "Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives were a lot better. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul.” 

When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it. The excitement in the room is palpable when he takes the stage; he is a superb vocalist and entertainer. His dynamic voice is large just like the man. With his old school vocal style, echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. At 6’5” he is a big man, but he moves with grace and energy. His fluid dance steps will remind you of the Legendary James Brown.

...Read more at sugarayblues.com/

Deva Mahal

“A sublime pop creation, infused with soul, rootsy blues, and a slight island shimmer” -Marquee Magazine

Deva Mahal is a powerful vocalist and songwriter who is the daughter of legendary blues musician Taj Mahal, with whom she wrote the song “Never Let You Go” on his Grammy-nominated 2009 album Maestro. She is a member of the acclaimed band Fredericks Brown, the musical collaboration of vocalist Mahal and New Zealand keyboardist Steph Brown.They have become renowned for their energetic live shows, rich harmonies, and beautifully crafted songs.

Deva, herself, has been immersing herself in the New York artist/musician scene for the past 7 years and has had the pleasure of creating with music makers such as Jaleel Bunton of Tv On the Radio, Binky Griptite of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Knocks and Nick Paul of St. Lucia, Living Color, the New York Pops Orchestra and Teddy Thompson as well as performing on stage alongside such legends as Etta James, Martha Reeves, Bettye Lavette, The Roots, Meshell N’degeocello, Cyndi Lauper, Bilal, Jean Grae and Ronnie Spector.

Deva has also made her debut as an actress in 2014’s Academy Award nominated film American Hustle directed by David O Russell and recently recorded with composer Byran Senti for the upcoming film The Experimenter directed by Michael Almereda.

She is currently working on a new Afro Futuristic RnB duo project called Skylines with Philly born artist/musician/producer, Mike McFadden and will be releasing a new single with NZ based Experimental Soul band called Electric Wire Hustle

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