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Community Concerts of Rancho Santa Fe review: Masters of Motown magical

Masters of Motown performing at the Preuss School, UCSD. Photo courtesy of Peter Ho, student at the Preuss School UCSD
Masters of Motown performing at the Preuss School, UCSD. Photo courtesy of Peter Ho, student at the Preuss School UCSD

By Dr. Jack Wheaton, music critic

Motown is a hip, slang-name for Detroit, Michigan. Something amazing happened there in the 1960s – a new pop musical form developed in this quickly-fading industrial town that has gone on to not only make millions of dollars, but also create a new musical hybrid.  Take a little blues, pop, rock ‘n roll, and jazz — pour them into a top recording-studio — and bam! — a new musical form has developed, one that started in the 1960s and is still going strong.

Created by the genius Berry Gordy (who still runs the show), this metropolis became the home of great talent —  the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross and the Supremes and many others, many of whom were portrayed at the Community Concerts of RSF event Jan. 25.

There have already been several movies about Motown and a new Broadway Show is soon to open.

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So what was it that we heard Jan. 25 from Masters of Motown?

1) A modern rhythm-section of bass, drums, guitar and keyboards selected from the best players around that accompanied this group.

2) Singers that have a unique, modern vocal style.

3) Music that is refreshing, reminiscent, and widely appealing.

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Masters of Motown: Costumes – great; body language;  wonderful; choice of material— familiar; audience participation – fun!; order of program — well done; level of talent —terrific!

This top group, from an historic background, is on the road doing concerts across the U.S.  Our very own Community Concert board thought to choose this group as one of the ensembles for this year’s concert series. Great choice!

This year has been a great one for the Community Concerts of RSF.  Those of us who have heard every concert so far can only say that every group was a top-professional ensemble, and each group represented a different musical style. What an education!

Don’t miss the final concert.  I know most of these guys!

I met them when I played in the Disneyland Band a few years ago. They are called “The Side Street Strutters.”

They’ll knock your socks off!


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