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.
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
"Ray Blue has a majestic presence… when playing, his sense of purpose is obvious... It's one thing to be a good composer it's another to be a great performer. Ray Blue's got the whole package."
- Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot, Down Beat
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.
JAZZ IS LIFE
Ray Blue - a portrait of an artist
Always with a Purpose
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 released his first CD as a leader, Always with a Purpose, in 2001. Then came Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater in 2004 and “Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater 2 in 2005. In 2006 Ray released ‘Transvision’ on the Neu Klang label and Berries and Blues in 2010.
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)
Sophia Abeles Education Award, ArtsWestchester, 2016
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)