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Jazz star Carline Ray dies at 88

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Jul 19, 2013 | 5:07pm EDT

Jazz guitarist Carline Ray has died at the age of 88. The musician passed away on Thursday (18Jul13) at the Isabella House nursing home in her native New York. Ray rose to fame as a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm band, and went on to join trumpet player Erskine Hawkins' orchestra in 1948. She also played with the Sy Oliver Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams. Ray was also an outspoken activist, campaigning for the increased recognition of women in jazz and making her voice heard in director Judy Chaikin's documentary film The Girls in the Band. She was honoured with the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Award at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center in 2005, and received the International Women in Jazz Award in 2008. She continued to work well into her 80s, and released her debut solo album, Carline Ray: Vocal Sides, in April (13), as she celebrated her 88th birthday. She is survived by her singer daughter Catherine Russell.

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