Ray Charles slated for Family Weekend

Musician Ray Charles will headline this year’s Family Weekend at a performance Oct. 13 in the Smith Center.

An international star, Charles is hailed for his musical talent ranging from jazz to rhythm and blues to country and western. Despite his complete loss of sight at age 7, Charles grew up to become a renowned singer, pianist, saxophonist, composer and band leader.

Charles has received numerous honors and awards including 12 Grammy Awards in a career that has spanned more than four decades.

Family Weekend is the “first official time parents are invited back to campus,” said Mike Gargano, assistant director of Student and Academic Support Services.

SASS chose Charles to perform because he has “broad appeal” to parents and students, as well as the GW community, Gargano said.

Charles’s selection was also based on his availability and willingness to perform at an exclusive show for GW in a relatively small venue, Gargano said.

Charles’ performance at GW will be unique because he will be accompanied by a 40-person orchestra, which will include many GW students, faculty and staff, Gargano said.

Although Gargano would not disclose the cost of the event, he said “acts of this nature don’t come cheap.” Gargano also said the University will recoup most of its investment through ticket sales. The Program Board and SASS are also sponsoring the event.

Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $25 for students to $35 for parents. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster on the second floor of the Marvin Center.

-Seth Goldman

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