featuring Shayna Steele, vocalist Chester Gregory, vocalist Michael Lynche, vocalist
Experience the magic of MOTOWN! This program features smash hits made famous by artists like Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and the one and only Stevie Wonder. Songs include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Dancing In The Street,” “I Heard it Through The Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Superstition,” and more.
Celebrate the legendary “Motown Sound” with Hairspray stars Shayna Steele and Chester Gregory, with American Idol finalist and charted R&B artist Michael Lynche. Audiences will be transformed by the powerful music of Motown with these authentic arrangements and exciting, young talented musicians.
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About Byron Stripling With a contagious smile and captivating charm, trumpet virtuoso, Byron Stripling, has ignited audiences internationally. As soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Stripling has performed frequently under the baton of Keith Lockhart, as well as being featured soloist on the PBS television special, "Evening at Pops," with conductors John Williams and Mr. Lockhart. Since his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, Stripling has become a pops orchestra favorite throughout the country, soloing with Boston Pops, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Dallas Symphony, to name a few. He has been a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and performs at jazz festivals throughout the world. Currently, Stripling serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly acclaimed Columbus Jazz Orchestra. A resident of Ohio, Stripling lives in the country with his wife, former dancer, writer and poet, Alexis and their beautiful daughters.
About Shayna Steele
After appearing on Broadway in Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar and the original cast of Hairspray, Steele started writing music with partner David Cook in 2002. The two quickly developed a creative synergy, collaborating on Steele's eponymous debut EP in 2004. Though self-released, the album's breakout soul-funk single "High Yella" achieved the attention she needed to raise her solo profile. She and/or her band have since shared the stage with luminaries Ledisi, opening for George Clinton and the Sugar Hill Gang, a featured singer with Bjorkestra and Grammy winning conducter/composer/trumpeter Dave Douglas, featured with 2 x Grammy winner Snarky Puppy in 2014 at the Nice Jazz Festival, the Estival Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival, Java Jazz Festival and the Singapore Jazz Festival. Shayna is a vocalist with the Grammy- nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices and has worked as a sideman with Lizz Wright, Bette Midler, Natasha Bedingfield, John Legend, Matthew Morrison, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson.
"Disco Lies", the first single off Moby's 2008 release Last Night, reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram's summer blockbuster Cloverfield and the movie The Backup Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. Her voice has remained high in demand with vocals on the Hairspray (movie soundtrack), 2012's The Bourne Legacy, Sex and the City 2, NBC's Smash, 2008 Summer Olympic highlights on BBC, The Shanghai Restoration Project and HBO's "The Sopranos". In December, Shayna reprised her role with the “Dynamites” in NBC’s Hairspray Live.
Shayna’s sophomore album, RISE (Ropeadope Records) has received rave reviews from both critics and fans alike and reached #4 on the U.S. iTunes jazz charts and #2 on the Italian iTunes Jazz Charts. Shayna is currently in the studio finishing up her 3rd solo album with producer David Cook set to release in early 2018. Please visit www.shaynasteele.com for more information.
About Chester Gregory
Chester Gregory is an award winning singer and actor. He was last seen starring in Motown The Musical as Berry Gordy. Broadway credits include Motown the Musical, Hairspray, Tarzan, Cry-Baby and Sister Act. Other credits include August Wilson's Fences and Two Trains Running. He has toured nationally with Dreamgirls, Sister Act, as well as his one-man show The Eve of Jackie Wilson. Chester has received many awards, including the Jeff Award and a NAACP Theatre Award, and has been presented the key to the city of his hometown of Gary, Indiana and in East Chicago. He has also been chosen as an Honorary State Representative of Indiana and has received a Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater Columbia College Chicago. He is currently producing several projects and recordings. Add him on social media @ChesterGregory and chestergregory.com.
About Michael Lynche
American Idol Michael Lynche is a new breed of soul singer with completely classic influences. Traces of Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke and James Brown all seem to flash in this uniquely talented performer. Undeniable charisma, well-crafted song arrangements and a voice soaked in soul give the big man class all his own. "Big Mike"—as he was known while winning over the hearts of a nation during his stint on American Idol—has talent so versatile, he's played intimate jazz & blues clubs, 20,000 seat arenas and opera halls with 100 piece orchestras backing him. Through it all "Big Mike" has always had one singular goal: to spread a message of love wherever he goes.
A New York City resident for the last 10 years, this Florida native rose from obscurity as a finalist on season 9 of the hit phenomenon, American Idol. After wowing millions of fans on American Idol with his comforting and powerful voice and performing throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! Tour, Big Mike has released 2 studio albums, toured as an opening act for Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans, and Lyfe Jennings and recently took his show overseas for the first time to headline a tour of the Mediterranean.
Since 2012, Big Mike has been a frequent featured guest vocalist with Maestro Jeff Tyzik and his hit show -- "Let's Dance!". With the perfect repertoire to showcase his dynamic song range, "Let's Dance!" has been performed with orchestras all over the US and Canada, including the Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra -- where Lynche also was the 2016 New Year's Eve Special featured vocalist.
Tyzik has been an incredible mentor for Michael over the years, recognizing a passion and drive in the big man that has made his own career successful. The two have spent the last 2 ½ years collaborating on a new, sensational soul revue entitled "R&B Legends". Truly a lifetime in the making, "R&B Legends" follows "Big Mike's" journey and coming of age through soul music with songs of some of the most iconic R&B/Soul singers of all time.
"Big Mike" comes with an inspirational story and a searing, soulful, one-of-a-kind voice. He leaves you breathless and wanting more when the night is over. This extraordinary vocal talent seamlessly fuses classic R&B, thoroughly modern urban grooves, and swoon-worthy vintage soul into a fresh, unique sound. Big, yes—and beautiful, too; Michael Lynche makes music that's unforgettable.