Protégé of Ray Charles Ellis Hall Joins the Toledo Symphony Orchestra for Special Tribute

Published Monday, October 8, 2018 9:00 am

On Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 8 PM at the Stranahan Theater, protégé of Ray Charles and former lead singer of Tower of Power, Ellis Hall joins the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) to perform Motown favorites like Heard It Through the Grapevine and Ray Charles greatest hits, including Hit the Road Jack, and Georgia On My Mind.

Ellis Hall is an accomplished and prolific performer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist. In a career spanning over four decades, Hall has electrified audiences throughout the world with his soulful R&B and has shared stages with giants ranging from James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle and Toby Keith to Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Bobby Womack, George Duke, and Sheila E. His reputation of excellence earned Ellis the moniker "The Ambassador of Soul." Ellis performed his first symphony show at the Hollywood Bowl in 2005 and has since been playing with prestigious 81-piece orchestras internationally.

Ellis met his greatest inspiration, Ray Charles, in 2001 at a Christmas party. In 2002, Ray Charles signed Ellis to his CrossOver Records label, mentoring him at his famous RPM Studios. Ellis also served as a special consultant to Jamie Foxx on the Oscar® winning film Ray (2004), where Foxx received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as well as the Golden Globe and many other awards.

“As we planned our 75th Anniversary season, we looked back to the most memorable performances of our past,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “One of those was Ray Charles’s 2001 concert with the Toledo Symphony at the Stranahan Theater. It’s a performance that people still talk about, since Ray was such a showman and a real pleasure to work with. We sadly never got to perform with Ray again before he passed away, but this performance with Ellis Hall will allow us to pay tribute to Ray Charles and bring us about as close as we can to recapturing the magic of that 2001 concert.”

Ellis Hall: A Tribute to Ray Charles will take place Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 8 PM at the Stranahan Theater. Tickets are available at or by calling the Toledo Symphony Box Office at 419.246.8000.

For more information, please contact Allie Dresser, Marketing Manager for the Toledo Symphony at


The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is a community-supported organization of professional musicians and teachers who deliver quality performance and music education for all.

Formed in 1943 as The Friends of Music and incorporated in 1951 as the Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc., the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has grown from a core group of twenty-two part-time musicians to a regional orchestra that employs sixty-five professional musicians who consider the Toledo Symphony their primary employer, as well as numerous extra players annually as repertoire demands. This year, the Toledo Symphony celebrates its 75th Anniversary season.

The Toledo Symphony reaches more than 260,000 individuals annually through performances and education programs. The series concerts (Masterworks, Pops, Chamber, Mozart in the Afternoon, and Family Series) are the critical underpinning of the orchestra’s artistic mission and regularly draw people from 135 postal zip codes. Additionally, Music Under the Stars, a free summer band concert series, is held annually at the Toledo Zoo. Education programs, student performances, and community concerts are held in schools, neighborhood churches, performing arts centers, and community facilities throughout the region; many are offered at no charge or provided at a reduced fee to help expand participation.

The Toledo Symphony is a member of the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA).

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra has events all year round. View our upcoming performance schedule now.

A gift to the Symphony is a gift to the Community

Your contribution will help us empower young people with the Toledo Symphony's superb music education programs, igniting a lasting appreciation of music and the arts, enhancing overall academic achievement, and opening doors to a world of opportunities.

Donate Today