Soul & Motown Revue at The Center |

Soul & Motown Revue at The Center

Submitted photo/The Center for the Arts

It’s time for a Soul & Motown Revue performed by another great group of stellar players and singers, presented by Lorraine Gervais Productions and the Center for the Arts Friday and Saturday.

Since 2009, Gervais has partnered with the Center for in presenting dance concerts highlighting vintage music, everything from tributes to Bonnie Raitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Fleetwood Mac, Gershwin, Women of Rock, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and more.

This time the group will perform classic tunes from the days of Soul & Motown — Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, The O’Jays, Chaka Khan, Tower of Power, The Spinners, Billy Preston, Labelle, Marvin Gaye and more!

“This is the music that influenced me right out of the gate as a young performer,” said Gervais. “I was hooked on the emotions of the lyrics and music style of tight vocal harmonies, funky horn and percussion sections with a thumping bass. What’s not to love? These are all fun and funky tunes you can sing along with or get out on the floor and dance the summer night away!”

The Center is an ideal venue for the band and singers with a big stage, professional sound, comfortable seats, a dance floor and two full bars, including the Prospector Lounge in the main stage theater. In keeping with the era of Soul & Motown, the bartenders will be mixing up a few special cocktails that were the rage on those hot summer nights — mai tais, tequila sunrises, rum and cokes and even wine coolers.

Singing with Lorraine are: Jenn Knapp, singer for The Cheatin Buzzies and a fellow performer with Lorraine on many other shows, Valerie Marston, a longtime vocalist with the Sacramento-based Sister Swing band, and Taylor Harris, who has just moved back from living in the Sacramento area. Lorraine invited Taylor to sing after hearing her belt it out during sessions at the Community Music Jam at the Center for the Arts (funded by the Irvine Foundation).

“I’m always excited to bring on young singers and let them have opportunities to step out and have new musical experiences,” said Gervais.

The all-star cast of players includes Steve Wall, guitar; Craig Thomas, keys; Charlie Faber, bass; Mike McMullen, sax; Tim Weiss, trumpet; Eric Burger, trombone; Mark McCartney, drums; and Ty Smith, percussion.

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