Saturday, April 6 / 2:00 p.m.
WHUR 96.3 FM presents
ART SHERROD JR. & THE ASJ ORCHESTRA’S
MOTOWN, SOUL REVUE and ARETHA FRANKLIN TRIBUTE
featuring JEFF KASHIWA, ELAN TROTMAN, PAUL BROWN, KEVIN WHALUM, TRACY HAMLIN, JEFF BRADSHAW, DAVID P STEVENS, BENJI PORECKI with 14-PIECE ORCHESTRA
DoubleTree by Hilton Reading / Grand Ballroom
Tickets: $55 (Reserved Seating)
Art Sherrod Jr. is an artist in love with Motown and soul, two intertwined but distinct genres that are transcendent and transformative.
The Motown sound is evident in the releases of label artists’ releases between 1963 and 1972 by The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Martha & The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell and Stevie Wonder.
Soul music is R&B music with a very strong gospel influence: soul shouting, organ lines, call and response, melisma, grit and high emotion. It’s Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding and so on.
There are elements of soul in the Motown sound, but the overall product was generally polished at Motown versus at other labels that specialized in soul, like Atlantic or Stax.
Motown founder Berry Gordy said Aretha Franklin was never part of the Motown Records roster, but she did belong to the Motown family.
Franklin, who passed away in August of pancreatic cancer at age 76, was indeed the undisputed Queen of Soul.
Her astonishing voice was a gift to American music. Her prolific career spanned six decades and included hit songs like “Respect,” “A Natural Woman” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” Even in her 70s she still was performing. In 2015 her performance of “A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors brought President Obama to tears.
During Sherrod’s four-year tenure as a midshipman attending the Naval Academy, few people knew he was a musician. But shortly after his time at the academy, Sherrod felt a strong desire to be creative again and step away from the more analytical side of life. So he started playing the saxophone again and quickly gained a great appreciation and respect for strong melodies, grooves, tone and soulful expressiveness.
Sherrod’s 14-piece ASJ Orchestra gives this memorable concert plenty of sound.
Jeff Kashiwa is one of the most compelling saxophonists in contemporary jazz. Having established himself in the 1990s as one of the most diverse saxmen during his decade-long tenure with The Rippingtons, Kashiwa’s instincts has led him to more dynamic endeavors through his solo career.
One of the most exciting up-and-comers among his generation of saxophonists, Elan Trotman explores the contemporary jazz field in his own way. While much of his music is radio friendly, in his live performances he prefers to stretch out, take chances and add an edge to his solos.
Paul Brown has won several Grammy Awards and steered more than 40 songs to the top of the charts as a producer/engineer and also is a popular guitarist and performer in his own right.
Legendary jazz keyboardist George Duke once described vocalist Kevin Whalum as “butter” in reference to Kevin’s smooth, sweet voice in covering gospel, soul, jazz or scat.
Tracy Hamlin was the lead vocalist for Pieces of a Dream before performing as a solo artist and releasing six of her own albums.
Jeff Bradshaw has made the trombone cool and hip. He is noted for his warm and tantalizing soul/jazz sound and smooth yet gripping performances.
Multi-talented guitarist, writer and producer David P Stevens is known for his electrifying, high-energy performances.
Benjie Porecki appears like the next bright light on the Hammond B-3 front with his aggressive organ approach. And he is equally adept on acoustic-piano.