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Cross-Cultural Connection

Since 2005, Cross-Cultural Connection, Inc. - a 501 c 3 not for profit organization - has been promoting jazz culture, education and performances in schools, colleges and communities around the world. It hosts: Jazz Education Workshop Series, Artist-in-Residence Programs, School and Community Programming and Performances and the Scholarship Fund.

We believe that Jazz is synonymous with innovation. It is a great educational vehicle for people of all ages and walks of life. Our mission is to increase cultural awareness, communication and understanding through music. Founded by award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer and educator Ray Blue, Cross-Cultural Connection, Inc. (C.C.C.) is an expression of Mr. Raphael ‘Ray’ Blue’s passion for Jazz music and culture combined with his work as an educator.

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Jazz is synonymous with innovation.

Unique Workshops and Education Programs

C.C.C. music workshops and education programs are unique experiences designed to develop each individual participant’s potential while empowering the group to connect, communicate through the transformative power of music. Cross-Cultural Connection performances feature a mix of inter-generational musicians where students from diverse backgrounds play alongside seasoned professional clinicians. The result is a powerful current of joy that is a delight for performers and audiences alike as they experience the power and beauty of America’s folk music - Jazz.

Cross-Cultural Connection is

supported by:

About Ray Blue

Ray is a New York bred saxophonist and educator who performs and conducts workshops and master classes internationally. Over the years Ray has shared the stage and studio as leader and sideman with John Gilmore, Dr. Art Davis, Benny Powell, Harold Maburn, Kirk Lightsey, Bernard Purdie, Wycliff Gordon, Wayne Dockery, Clifford Adams, Steve Turre, Ted Curson, Joe Lee Wilson, Joe Ford, Ed Cherry, John Bestch, Calvin Hill, Essiet Okon Essiet, Michael Cochrane, Charlie Persip Super Band, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Cotton Club All Stars, Harlem Blues and Jazz Band and many others. He was also a cast member of the “Ray Charles Show” which toured in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy 2008 to 2010.

Ray Blue's festival performances as leader and featured artist include: Hartford Jazz Festival; Zanzibar International Film Festival; North Sea Jazz Festival-Cape Town, South Africa; Macufe Festival-Bloemfontaine, South Africa; European Union Annex Festival-Dublin, Ireland; Audi Jazz Festival-Brussels, Belgium; Macao Jazz Festival, China; The New York State Black Arts Festival-Albany, New York; Midi Music Festival-Beijing, China; Pori Jazz Festival, Finland; Foix Jazz Festival, France and others.


Ray Blue - a portrait of an artist

A Film by Jeff Gadge

Always with a Purpose

Ray released his first CD as a leader, Always with a Purpose, in 2001. Further releases include; Live at Liars Theater I and Live at Liars Theater 2, Transvision, Berries and Blues and Work in 2018. 


  • Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), Clinical Social Work (University of Iowa)

  • Bachelor's degree, Sociology and Psychology (Wm. Penn University, Iowa)

  • Jazz Education and Performance Studies (Jazz Mobile, New York)



  • Proclamation, New York State Senate, 2021

  • Sophia Abeles Education Award by ArtsWestchester, 2016

  • Proclamation, Westchester County Board of Legislators, 2015

  • Proclamation, City of Peekskill, 2015

  • Jazz Legacy Award, IOWA Juneteenth Observance, 2015

  • Mayor's Award, City of Peekskill, 2014

  • Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, 2013

  • Tri M Music Honor Society, 2012

  • Distinguished Career Award, Wm. Penn University, 2010

  • Annual Ray Blue Jazz Award, Wm. Penn University, 2006 (presented to graduating senior)

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