Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ray's "Little Big Band," Canton, MS, June 2, 2012

Ray Reach's "Little Big Band" plays wedding in Canton, Mississippi, June 2, 2012

On June 2, 2012, the Ray Reach "Little Big Band" traveled to Canton, Mississippi to play for a unique and beautiful wedding reception for bride Allison and groom Brad.  The wedding and reception took place at the Dunhopen Farm.  This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen for a wedding.

Keeping with the Ray Reach Music tradition of excellence, for this event the 8-piece "Little Big Band" included an all-star cast of musicians:

Dr. Cameron (Chip) Crotts, trumpet - Chip is one of the finest lead trumpeters in the U.S., having played with Natalie Cole, Maynard Ferguson, the Temptations, The Four Tops, the Ojays and many more.  He is currently Director of Jazz Studies at Georgia Tech.

Ryan Raziano, alto sax - Ryan is a Jazz Studies major at the University of Southern Mississippi, and a student of Dr. Larry Panella.

Scott Johnson, tenor sax - Also a student of Larry Panella, Scott graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi and is now a High School band director in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dr. Cliff Taylor, trombone - Cliff is Assistant Band Director and Jazz Ensemble conductor at Mississippi State University.

Carvel Avis, guitar - Carvel resides in Monroe, Louisiana and is one of the finest and most versatile guitarists in the Southeast.

Chris Wendle, acoustic and electric basses - Chris holds a degree in bass performance from the Eastern Illinios University, and has performed with Natalie Cole, the Temptations, The Four Tops and the Ojays, to name a few.

John Nuckols, drums - John holds a degree in percussion from the University of Alabama and studied jazz drumming with Dave Brubeck's drummer, Alan Dawson.

Ray Reach, keyboards / vocals / leader / arranger - See my website:

Below are some pictures from the event, with commentary:

When I arrived at Dunhopen Farm at 1:00 in the afternoon, the work crews were still busy preparing the site for the happy event:  (Please pardon my poor quality pics, taken with my iPhone.)

Below are some assorted pictures of the wedding, done by Patrick Remington (

And, finally, here are a few pics of the band.  (The good ones were done by Patrick Remington.  The poor quality photos were taken by me with my trusty iPhone.)

Above:  The view from my seat at the keyboards on stage.

Above:  Guitarist Carvel Avis spouts one of his witty quips.  
Drummer John Nuckols smiles from the background.

Above:  Bassist Chris Wendle in a jubilant mood.

Above:  My view of the horn section from on stage.  What an awesome group of players!

Here are a couple of higher quality shots of the band, taken by Patrick Remington:

Above:  (Left) Dr. Chip Crotts on trumpet and (Right) John Nuckols on drums.

Above:  The horn section.

As you can see, this was a spectacular event!  Credits for the event facilitators are as follows:

Preparation – Mothers Home
Hair – TBA
Makeup – AMY HEAD
Wedding dress – CHRISTOS BRIDAL
Bridesmaid dresses – REBECCA TAYLOR
Ceremony & Reception – Family property

If you'd like to book "The Little Big Band," or any other of Ray Reach's groups (ranging in size from 2 to 24 musicians), please contact me.  Here is my contact info:

Ray Reach
Cel:  205-960-6328