If your idea of a ideal holiday celebration includes the Temptations’ “Silent Night” or Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby,” the Friday performance by Motown and More is the place to be.
The metro area ensemble will be making its fourth appearance at the Carroll Arts Center, bringing a sound reminiscent of the 1960s and ’70s. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and can be purchased in advance via the Arts Council website.
The show titled “A Holiday Celebration” is led by Musical Director and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Gillespie and features saxophonists Art Sherrod Jr. and Eddie Baccus Jr. and five vocalists, led by Gene McBride and Karen Linette. The 10-person ensemble promises smooth choreography and an exciting stage show, similar to the artists of the past.
McBride, who is also a co-founder of the group, said it was treat to have the guest artists that will join them this year and said audiences will appreciate the special feel-good setlist.
“We’re just going to give them a good time,” he said of this year’s performances.
When asked what audiences can expect from a Motown and More performance, McBride said, “They can expect a bunch of surprises. … We just always want them to forget about what they’re going through. … I always want you to feel better when you leave than when you came here.”
The show is one that can appeal to young and old, whether the audience member is a longtime fan of the genre or just coming into the fold.
“Motown music just resonates. It seems to have a strong appeal for a big demographic, especially when you’re doing Christmas music,” he said.
The group is partnering with the Salvation Army to host a gift drive to collect toys for children. This is the first time they’ve brought the program to their Westminster show, though they have held it at other venues.
Throughout the season, they will play in Easton, Annapolis and other Delmarva venues.
According to a news release from the group, “‘A Holiday Celebration,” in addition to nostalgic Motown classics, also offers those special tunes that bring the season in with style such as The Temptations’ “Silent Night” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” The Jackson 5's " Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Stevie Wonder's "One Day at Christmas," Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby,” just to name a few.
“A truly loved musical era, the MOTOWN years still evoke the sounds and images of a time full of great artists, classic songs, smooth choreography and exciting stage shows,” according to the release.