Masters Of Motown Offers Musical History Lessons

Take the ultimate stroll down memory lane with the Masters of Motown when they perform at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Take the ultimate stroll down memory lane with the Masters of Motown when they perform at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

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Rim residents of a certain age know the “Motown Sound” to their core. You can’t listen to it without moving with the rhythm — even if that’s just tapping your toes. Get ready to relive that great sound of the ’60s when the Tonto Community Concert Association presents the Masters of Motown in a 7 p.m. performance Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Masters of Motown has been called the most entertaining history lesson ever performed. This show authentically reproduces the look, choreography, style and sound made famous by a once-obscure record label that profoundly influenced the history of popular music.

For many, Masters of Motown offers the ultimate stroll down memory lane. For younger generations, the show offers a way to experience a period that produced many of the greatest music acts ever recorded.

The show features a completely live performance with seasoned musicians and performers from The TFC Band, which has toured internationally for more than 30 years. The TFC Band created the Masters of Motown show in 2008 to capture the sights, sounds and feel of the Motown era.

Based in Virginia Beach, Va., the 10-person cast of Masters of Motown has performed to numerous sold-out audiences across the country at venues ranging from community theaters and universities to performing arts venues and concert halls.

The group

John Hodges, lead vocalist, has performed his entire adult life. He has toured extensively across the U.S. and overseas, including a recent five-month tour of Africa. When not touring with Masters of Motown, The TFC Band performs at major corporate events, personal celebrations and festivals from coast to coast. His rich bass baritone vocals recall Melvin Franklin of the Temptations and Barry White.

Dario Outlaw, lead vocalist, demonstrates on stage his talent with energetic moves. He is the choreographer for Masters of Motown and The TFC Band and has performed as a professional singer his entire adult life. A life-long resident of the Tidewater area of Virginia, he also produces music in the gospel genre.

Ronald Smith, lead vocalist, started singing with his twin brother at an early age. When not touring with Masters of Motown or The TFC Band, he loves to spend time with his wife and family. Smitty has a vocal range that demonstrates a falsetto to second baritone range.

Deneen (Lady D), lead vocalist, started singing at a young age in church. Lady D is also a gospel recording artist and has performed at the Virginia Governor’s Mansion and toured in Africa with The TFC Band. Her powerful vocals can bring audiences to their feet on songs like Gladys Knight’s “Neither One of Us.”

Shinee Cruise, lead vocalist, got her start in the business as an intern for Red Diamond Studios in 1999 where she worked adding background vocals and arranging music. She worked with producers Jack Knight and Q-Tip, among others. After six months, she was signed by an independent local label. She was featured on a few songs by Pusha-T and Pharrell, performing vocal hooks and background singing. Over the years, she assisted other studios and mentored them in the ups and downs of the music industry. She now performs tributes to The Supremes as Diana Ross and Mary Wells.

Joyce Bowers, lead vocalist, started singing at the age of 5 in the church choir and subsequently with the family group, “The A-Z trio.” Soon thereafter, she got her professional start with “Frank Carballo and the Dukes of Rhythm.”

Jermaine Newsome, keyboardist, is the band’s music director and has made music since the age of 5. Other members of the band include Oscar Waters, bassist; Darrell Ballard, guitarist; and Al Hundley, drummer — all professional musicians with a lifetime of experience.

The Tonto Community Concert Association has been bringing music to the Rim Country for more than 30 years. The association offers a wide range of performers in a multiple-concert series through a basic subscription — which provides a ticket to each concert — at $90 per person for the 2012-2013 season.

Out-of-town guests, accompanied by a season ticket holder, may purchase a ticket for $15. Single admission tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the door, if seating is available. Children and teens can attend for free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

The performance by the Masters of Motown will be followed by: The Legacy of Floyd Cramer, 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21; Ricky Nelson Remembered, 7 p.m., Saturday, March 27; and Side Street Strutters, 7 p.m., Monday, May 6.

To learn more, call (928) 478-4363 or write to Tonto Community Concert Association, P.O. Box 1711, Payson, AZ 85547.

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