Elton John, 2Cellos
- Website: www.eltonjohn.com
Elton John and percussionist Ray Cooper are performing together for the first time in Ireland since their appearances in 1979, when they played two Shows at the National Stadium in Dublin and two Shows at the Whitla Hall in Belfast. Percussionist Ray Cooper first worked with Elton in 1971, on the Madman Across The Water album, and first joined him on stage at the Royal Festival Hall show six months later. In December 1973, Ray played at Elton's Christmas shows at the Hammersmith Odeon, and officially joined the band the following month in Colorado for the Caribou album. For six nights in 1977 at the Rainbow Theatre in London, Elton and Ray introduced a unique stage show that would become a thing of legend. Selecting more obscure songs from his catalogue, Elton played a solo set to open the show and was then joined by Ray on percussion for the second half. Following Elton's semi-retirement from stage shows, this two-man show was re-launched in 1979, when the duo played smaller venues around the world, including eight high-profile nights in the USSR, one of the first times a Western act had played the Communist country. Ray continued to perform and record with Elton sporadically through the 1980s, once again bringing his showmanship to the Australian Tour De Force concerts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1986. Elton and Ray revived their piano and percussion tour in 1993, playing about 50 dates over two years. Ray's most recent appearance on an Elton album was 1995's Made In England. In 2009 Elton and Ray were reunited for a Benefit Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall, in aid of the Royal Academy of Music. Since then they have performed in Italy, France, the USA and South Africa.
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