Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates a jazz legend as we present Ray Charles: A Tribute at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) on Saturday, October 18 at 7:30pm. The program features favourite songs from Charles’ repertoire and original arrangements from artistic director Matt Catingub starring singer Joni NehRita and Grammy-nominated drummer Steve Moretti.

The multifaceted Matt Catingub acts as host, performer and musician for the evening as he plays saxophone and piano, sings and conducts the orchestra. Catingub is the son of famous jazz singer Mavis Rivers, who was the first singer singed by Frank Sinatra, and grew up in the jazz world performing with his mother, Dizzy Gillespie and Ruth Brown, among others. Catingub has conducted several North American orchestras, founded the Hawaii Pops Orchestra and Macon Pops, and remains creatively invested in contemporary popular music.

Catingub is joined onstage with stunning soul singer Joni NehRita who fuses classic soul music with a modern sound. This Guelph-based singer, songwriter and musician is familiar to the Hamilton area after having performed at the 2011 Hamilton Music Awards as well as the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony earlier this year. She released two independent albums with her single Are You Ready? peaking at number six on the UK soul charts.

Drummer Steve Moretti is a two time Grammy Award nominee and has made appearances with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Victoria and Kitchener-Waterloo.  His performances have been described as “full of subtle nuance and excitement” (Cleveland Classic) and he recently made his movie debut playing live in the 2014 Clint Eastwood film Jersey Boys.

This program is packed with classic Ray Charles tunes like Hallelujah, I Love Her So, Georgia on My Mind and Hit the Road Jack.  The sounds of your HPO musicians will shine in Catingub’s symphonically-rich arrangements of hits such as Bye, Bye Love, One Mint Julep and Born to Lose.

Ticket Information

Single tickets for Ray Charles: A Tribute are $23 to $67 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and are available online at staginghpo.wpengine.com, by calling 905.526.7756 or in person at the HPO Box Office in FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) at 10 MacNab Street South or FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) Box Office the evening of the concert.

Special hpoGO tickets for the under 35 crowd are $17 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person.  To receive special discounts and invitations to special events, under 35 patrons can sign up online at staginghpo.wpengine.com.

Group Sales Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased by contacting Heather Hollis at 905-526-7756.

Reserve your Table before the Concert

The HPO’s Dinner and a Concert program offers patrons the opportunity to enjoy a three-course, prix fixe meal at a partnering restaurant within half a kilometre of FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place).  Each package includes a meal at partnering restaurants and a ticket to the performance.  Call the HPO Box Office at 905.526.7756 to reserve your table.

Sláinte Irish Pub – $49
33 Bowen St.

Incognito Restaurant & Wine Bar – $59
93 John St. S.

The Hamilton Club – $79
6 Main St. E


Media Contact: Diana Weir, Partnerships Manager | Tel: 905.526.1677 x230 | Email: dweir@hpo.org

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.