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The NW Ray Charles Tribute was born in 2005 after the world lost a great treasure in music, the inimitable Ray Charles. The tribute, organized by saxophonist Patrick Lamb, was originally produced for a one-time-only performance at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival. Afterwards, Bob Ancheta of KINK fm102 stated, "The Ray Charles Tribute was the highlight of the 2005 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, showcasing Portland's finest talent on one stage." In fact, that performance received the Cascade Blues Association's Muddy Award for “Best Performance of the Year.”

Since that successful initial performance, the RCT has recorded a CD and performed throughout the NW, including a memorable collaboration with the Oregon Symphony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. On that occasion, Sweet Baby James brought down the house with his rendition of “Come Rain Or Come Shine.”