Madeline Bell and Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. Tribute to Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder
Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder’s songs and original compositions by the orchestra members
Madeline Bell, the megastar of soul music and the owner of a voice of unbelievably wide range, and the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw from the Netherlands present a unique programme in Vilnius – songs by the legendary Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Having collaborated with these personalities on concert stage and in recording studios, Madeline Bell now pays tribute to her idols. However, she herself is an object of adoration of music aficionados and other performers around the world. Joe Cocker insisted on waiting one year until this most in demand session singer was free to record with him; she has inspired and collaborated with celebrities such as Cliff Richard, Chris Barber, Tom Jones, Scott Walker, Long John Baldry, Elton John and Tom Parker to name but a few. A renowned singer Dusty Springfield became the Honorary President of Madeline Bell’s Fan Club, which commenced in late ‘65 early ’66. The list of the Club’s Honorary Members involves Elvis Presley among others. Madeline Bell’s numerous awards include the one presented by the International Alliance For Women In Music, and also Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Music Heritage Foundation. Enthralled by Madeline’s vocal diversity of style the managers of Columbia Records and Philips Records invited her to sign contracts. She embarked on a solo recording career making some excellent and outstanding singles and working in cabaret. June Mendoza’s portrait of Madeline at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London toured many an Art Gallery in the UK.
More than ten years ago Madeline Bell and the Jazz Orchestra of Concertgebouw organised a colossal project Ray Charles Tour in Movie Theatres in the Netherlands and Belgium. These important shows incorporated the film Ray portraying the legendary Ray Charles and Madeline’s vocal tribute to the great Ray Charles’s Music. The audience heard and saw the foremost Jazz Orchestra of the Netherlands and mesmerising Madeline Bell performing live newly arranged songs of Ray Charles in front of the screen where the film had just been shown. According to the witnesses’ accounts, the audiences jumped out of their seats, joined hands and sang filling the theatres with magic aura. In 2005, one of these concerts held in “Pathé Tuschinski” cinema in Amsterdam was recorded and released as Tribute to Ray Charles Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.
The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw is a unique assembly of musicians who are also composers and arrangers. The orchestra’s programs captivate the audiences regardless of age difference. Their wide range of repertoire and stylistic vocabulary spans from Duke Ellington Orchestra to different combinations of jazz and funk, soul and Rhythm&Blues. Beside its concerts at the prestigious Concertgebouw, the orchestra regularly appears in “North Sea Jazz Festival” and “Java Jazz Festival”, collaborates with such luminaries as Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, Toots Thielemans, Roy Hargrove, Christian Scott, José James, Lonnie Smith and others.
This programme also features Kęstutis Vaiginis, one of the leading Lithuanian saxophonists, participant of international formations and festivals.