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Ray Carless RIP

Ray was a true genius and one of those performers whom we were so delighted to welcome to the Vortex. As a genius on the saxophone is indisputable. But also his father figure status to so many and the reverence with which he was held. And without him, we would possibly not have had MPress as one of our stalwart volunteers.

He was most passionate that we recall and respect the generation that arrived on the Windrush, of which his father was one. He taught us all to be proud of the musical heritage which they brought to this country. Most memorable were the gigs he organised at the Vortex to celebrate this, as Club Skaaville. A wonderful ska/reggae band, but also memories of what it was like to arrive here. The highs and lows – just as the iniquities of the UK government’s attitude to them were being shown. I myself was in tears. If only someone from the government had been there!

Despite his own struggle with cancer, he kept showing his selflessness by performing whenever possible and giving us all joy. For example, a solo show that he gave from the balcony overlooking Gillett Square, filling it with warmth and love.


Oliver Weindling

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