Performance Thursday, February 9, 2012 | 8 PM

A Tribute to the Music of Motown

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Ray Chew returns to Carnegie Hall to celebrate this soulful brand of music from the Motor City that has been loved by generations. "Motown touches every American," says Chew, who is also the current music director of American Idol. "It brings you back to a familiar place."


  • Boyz II Men
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Paul Shaffer
  • Martha Reeves
  • BeBe Winans
  • Melba Moore
  • Kindred the Family Soul
  • with very special surprise guests
  • Soledad O'Brien, Host
  • Ray Chew, Musical Director


  • Boyz II Men

    Boyz II Men have won fans the world over with their soulful multi-octave sound and incredible vocals. Given the monumental success of their albums and the timeless quality of their music, it is easy to see why Boyz II Men remains the most popular R&B group of all time. From Justin Timberlake and Usher to Justin Bieber and Beyoncé, the most successful stars in the industry look to Boyz II Men as their idols.

    Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, Boyz II Men has penned and performed some of the most celebrated classics of the past two decades. The group's four Grammy Awards are just the tip of the iceberg; they have also won a whopping nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and three Billboard Awards. The trio holds the distinction of being the best-selling R&B group of all time, with an astounding 60 million albums sold that feature a rich catalogue of smooth harmonies.

    Boyz II Men's hits include "End of the Road," "I'll Make Love to You," "One Sweet Day" with Mariah Carey, "Motownphilly," and many others. Their recent albums have earned major critical acclaim as well. Their Decca label debut in 2007, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA, earned two Grammy nominations and sparked the release of the group's first full-length live concert DVD of the same name. Most recently, Boyz II Men has marked their 20th anniversary by releasing a landmark album, fittingly titled Twenty, featuring the group's first original material in nearly a decade as well as a dozen re-mastered classic, career-defining hits.

    The group has its own charity, Boyz II Men House, lending support to individuals and organizations that focus on improving quality of life and helping to unlock human potential, while contributing to the health and vitality of those less fortunate.

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  • Dionne Warwick

    Dionne Warwick has, over an illustrious five-decade career, established herself as an international music legend. Her reputation as a hit-maker has been firmly etched into public consciousness, thanks to nearly 60 charted hits since "Don't Make Me Over" began its climb up the charts in December 1962.

    Hits like "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Walk on By" brought Warwick successively larger visibility and success around the world. In 1968, Warwick became the first African American female performer to appear before the Queen of England at a Royal Command Performance. Later that year, she received her first Grammy Award (for the classic "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?"), becoming the first African American of her generation to win the prestigious award for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance.

    In 1970, Warwick received her second Grammy Award for the best-selling album I'll Never Fall in Love Again, and in 1974 hit the top of the charts with "Then Came You," a million-selling duet with The Spinners. Three years later, she teamed up with Isaac Hayes for the highly successful A Man and a Woman world tour. Soon after, her Arista Records label-mate Barry Manilow produced Warwick's platinum-selling Dionne, including "I'll Never Love This Way Again" and "Déjà Vu." Both songs earned Grammy Awards, making Warwick the first female artist to win awards in the Best Female Pop and Best Female R&B Performance categories. Hot on the heels of her phenomenal success, she began her first stint as host for the highly successful television show Solid Gold.

    Warwick's 1982 album Heartbreaker, co-produced by Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees, became an international chart-topper. Three years later, she reunited with frequent collaborator Burt Bacharach, and longtime friends Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John to record the classic "That's What Friends Are For," with proceeds benefitting the American Foundation for AIDS Research. To this day, Warwick continues to work tirelessly with various organizations dedicated to empowering and inspiring others. She recently spearheaded the long-overdue development and production of a history book that details African and African American history for use in schools, libraries, and bookstores throughout the world.

    Throughout the '80s, Warwick continued to collaborate with many of her musical peers, including Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Luther Vandross, and others. She worked with Stevie Wonder as music coordinator for the film and Academy Award-winning soundtrack album The Woman in Red. She was also one of the key participants in the all-star charity single "We Are the World," including the 1984 performance at Live Aid.

    Warwick's soulful blend of pop, gospel, and R&B music continues to transcend race, culture, and musical boundaries. In 2003, Warwick wrote her first book, My Point of View and recently released her memoir My Life as I See It.

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  • Paul Shaffer

    Paul Shaffer has been David Letterman's musical director and sidekick for more than 27 years. He began his career in 1972 as musical director of the Toronto production of Godspell. He played piano in The Magic Show on Broadway in 1974, before spending the next five years with Saturday Night Live.

    In 1977, Shaffer took a brief break from SNL to star in the CBS comedy series A Year at the Top, produced by Norman Lear and Don Kirshner. After returning to SNL, he collaborated with Gilda Radner on the songs for her Broadway show and served as musical director for the Blues Brothers-John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd-on their double-platinum album and throughout their national tour.

    In addition to his own albums (Coast to Coast and The World's Most Dangerous Party), Shaffer has recorded with such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Yoko Ono, and Robert Plant's Honeydrippers. Along with Paul Jabara, he wrote the '80s dance hit "It's Raining Men." In 2002, he received his first Grammy Award (Best Country Instrumental) for the Earl Scruggs and Friends album.

    Shaffer's feature-film roles include Artie Fufkin in Rob Reiner's This is Spinal Tap. He also appeared in the Mike Nichols-directed Gilda Live, the Bill Murray movie Scrooged, and with John Travolta in Look Who's Talking Too. He is heard as the voice of Hermes in Disney's animated feature Hercules and the television series based on the film. Shaffer also produced the gold-selling soundtrack for and appeared in Blues Brothers 2000.

    Shaffer has served as musical director and producer for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at The Waldorf=Astoria since its inception in 1986. He hosted CBS's 1994 New Year's Eve special from Times Square and was musical director of the closing concert at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 1999, he was musical director of The Concert of the Century at the White House to aid music-education programs in public schools, featuring Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Gloria Estefan, 'N Sync, and others. He was also musical director of Paul McCartney's Concert for New York City and appeared with Faith Hill on the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon, both of which honored and raised money for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    "Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock" is a daily interstitial feature that is nationally syndicated by Envision Radio. His first book, We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives, was published in 2009.

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  • Martha Reeves

    Nearly 50 years since she first hit the charts with the bluesy, soulful "Come and Get These Memories," Martha Reeves continues to perform across the globe, dancing and strutting with the energy of a 25-year-old. Her strong, soulful voice helped define the Motown sound. Her hits are legendary: the Grammy-nominated "Heat Wave," the gospel-tinged "Nowhere to Run," the classic soul favorite "My Baby Loves Me," and her signature "Dancing in the Street." While best-known for up-tempo, hard-driving tunes, Reeves's shows are often highlighted by jazzy renditions of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child," and Duke Ellington's "I Got it Bad" or "Mood Indigo."

    With her group the Vandellas, Reeves established an enviable legacy. Together, they backed Marvin Gaye on his first three hits ("Stubborn Kinda Fellow," "Pride and Joy," and "Hitch Hike') and gave Holland-Dozier-Holland their first big hit with "Come and Get These Memories." In fact, it was listening to Reeves singing "Memories" that Berry Gordy came up with Motown's tagline: "the sound of young America." While the roster of the Vandellas changed frequently, Reeves's soaring soprano was a constant.

    Soon after graduating from high school, Motown A&R director Mickey Stevenson heard Reeves perform and invited her to audition for the then-fledgling label. The highly motivated singer arrived the next morning. Upon learning that auditions had to be formally scheduled, she made herself valuable by answering phones and taking messages. When people say that she started at Motown as a secretary, Reeves corrects them: "I was never a secretary. I was a singer who could type." Reeves soon became an invaluable administrator at the label as she waited her turn to sing. One day, when Mary Wells missed a recording session, Reeves stepped up to the microphone and soon became one of Motown's most enduring and beloved stars.

    Moving beyond the concert stage, Reeves starred in a US tour of the Tony-winning Ain't Misbehavin', and has performed in road shows of The Jackie Wilson Story and Good Black Don't Crack. In 2003, she made her opera debut with the Motor City Lyric Opera.

    Reeves is the recipient of the Dinah Washington Award, a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, a Black Woman in Publishing Legend Award, and has been inducted in the Alabama, Soul, Rock and Roll, and Vocal Group halls of fame.

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  • BeBe Winans

    Benjamin "BeBe" Winans is known as an inspirational, R&B, and gospel vocalist, songwriter, and producer. He has won six Grammy Awards (three solo and three with his sister CeCe), 10 Dove Awards, six Stellar Awards, three NAACP Awards, and a Soul Train Award.

    Born the seventh of 10 children, Winans began his career in the mid-1980s as a background singer with his famous brothers, The Winans, and for the Praise the Lord television show. Along with his sister CeCe, the duo recorded one album for The PTL Club before amassing an amazing run of hit songs, including "Heaven," "Addictive Love," and "I'll Take You There." After five successful gold and platinum records, including BeBe & CeCe Winans, Heaven, Different Lifestyles, First Christmas, and Relationships, the two moved forward to pursue their own solo endeavors in 1995.

    Winans delivered his self-titled solo debut album in 1997, featuring the singles "In Harm's Way," "Thank You," and the international crossover hit "I Wanna Be the Only One" with the British soul trio Eternal. His follow up, Love & Freedom, was released in 2000. By 2003, Winans started his own record label, The Movement Group, partnering with Still Waters. In 2005, he released his third solo album, Dream, followed by Cherch two years later. He has also recorded songs with such entertainers as Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston.

    In 2009, BeBe and CeCe launched their own record label entitled B&C Records, releasing Still, their first album together in 15 years. The following year, they won two Grammy Awards and five Stellar Awards. Approaching gold-level status, the album features the Billboard chart-topping single "Close to You," as well as the Grammy-winning "Grace." "Close to You" was also named BMI's Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year in addition to earning the 2010 Dove Award for Urban Recorded Song of the Year.

    As an actor, Winans appeared in 2003's The Manchurian Candidate. In early 2008, he returned to the theater as Harpo in the Broadway production of The Color Purple, co-starring alongside lifelong friend Chaka Khan. In October 2010, Winans launched his own weekly radio show on Sirius / XM Radio, The BeBe Experience.

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  • Melba Moore

    Melba Moore is an accomplished singer, actress, and philanthropist, having burst on to the public stage in the Broadway production of Hair, replacing Diane Keaton in the lead role of Sheila. A year and a half later, she starred in Purlie, which earned her a Tony Award. Moore later performed alongside the iconic Eartha Kitt in the musical Timbuktu! Another first came when she landed the role of Fantine in Broadway's Les Misérables, becoming the only African American to portray that character.

    Although Moore enjoyed working on Broadway, she decided to focus on her recording career. Her debut on Mercury Records was I Got Love, followed by Look What You're Doing to the Man. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and became a regular guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as well as The Flip Wilson Show. She scored a string of Billboard hits with songs like "This Is It" and "You Stepped Into My Life." Moore was also the first female pop artist to give a non-operatic solo concert at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House.

    Moore continued to enjoy great success with such number-one hits as "Falling," "A Little Bit More" (a duet with Freddie Jackson), and "Read My Lips," for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal. Moore later released Soul Exposed, which included a stellar version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," featuring such artists as Freddie Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Jeffrey Osborne, Louis Gossett Jr., Bobby Brown, Anita Baker, and Stephanie Mills.

    More recently, Moore starred with Beyoncé and Cuba Gooding Jr. in The FightingTemptations. Presently, she is working on an autobiography with professor and former New York Times writer Mel Watkins, detailing her achievements over the span of her career. She is also producing her forthcoming album, Forever Moore, which will be released on her new label A'Moore Music, Inc.

    One of Moore's major accomplishments was being instrumental in having "Lift Every Voice and Sing" inducted in the US Library of Congress as the official Negro National Anthem. She has also worked closely with Dr. Dorothy I. Height and the National Council of Negro Women as their national membership chairwoman, in addition to Dr. C. Delores Tucker and the National Congress of Black Women.

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  • Kindred the Family Soul

    Kindred the Family Soul are somewhat of an anomaly in a business that seems to foster fly-by-night trends, single-minded artists, and one-hit wonders. Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler-the married duo and parents of six-have managed to steadily build a devoted following with their unique mix of soulful R&B and hip-hop grooves, conscientious lyrics, and refreshingly honest songwriting.

    By age 15, Graydon already had a solo recording deal, and Dantzler got his start in the music business writing songs for Pebbles and Bell Biv DeVoe. The duo began working the infamous Black Lily club scene in Philadelphia, where they caught the attention of Jill Scott, who eventually helped them land a recording deal. In 2003, Kindred made its critically acclaimed debut, Surrender to Love, which was heralded as one of the best albums of the year by both USA Today and People magazine, and featured the hit single "Far Away."

    Kindred's follow-up album was 2005's In This Life Together, whose title was inspired by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee's book With Ossie & Ruby: In This Life Together. In 2008, they released their third recording, The Arrival, further solidifying their position as the voice for a generation of family-minded young people. They have also been nominated for a Soul Train Music and BET awards.

    The Philadelphia-based duo's magnetic chemistry, dynamic showmanship, and insightful songwriting have since brought about comparisons to such iconic duos as Ashford and Simpson, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Love Has No Recession,Kindred the Family Soul'snew release, is a masterpiece of originals that paint stories of love and devotion, the human struggle, redemption, perseverance, social consciousness, economic struggle, and family values. Featured guests include Snoop Dogg, Raheem DeVaughn, Chuck Brown, Bilal, Ursula Rucker, and Lady Alma.

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  • Soledad O'Brien

    Soledad O'Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN. Since joining the network in 2003, O'Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning and record-breaking documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today.

    One of O'Brien's recent projects, Latino in America, was a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country, how they're reshaping America, and how America is reshaping them. Last year, she reported for Black in America 2, a four-hour documentary focusing on successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African Americans. O'Brien's reporting for Black in America in 2008 revealed the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her Children of the Storm project and One Crime at a Time documentary demonstrate O'Brien's continued commitment to covering stories out of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    O'Brien came to CNN from NBC News, where she anchored the network's Weekend TODAY. Prior to that, she anchored MSNBC's award-winning technology program The Site. O'Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for NBC Nightly News and TODAY. She previously served as a local reporter and bureau chief for NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco after beginning her career at WBZ-TV in Boston.

    O'Brien is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is a graduate of Harvard University.

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  • Ray Chew

    Ray Chew has led countless award-winning musical events-live and televised-with the world's greatest artists across every genre, including Aretha Franklin, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna, Prince, James Taylor, Anita Baker, Queen Latifah, Ne-Yo, Barry Manilow, Ludacris, Smokey Robinson, Justin Bieber, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Jennifer Hudson, and Quincy Jones.

    As the new musical director of American Idol, Chew helped revitalize the show's musical product during the 2011 season and inspired arguably the best cast in the competition's history. Season 10 enjoyed tremendous ratings success and critical acclaim, and Chew is excited to meet the challenge of returning for season 11 to affix his musical imprint on the show. He has also served as musical director and personality for several network television series, including It's Showtime at the Apollo, NBC's The Singing Bee, and BET's Sunday Best.

    Chew's relationships with producers in various fields of television have placed him at the helm of historic landmark musical events, including President Obama's Inaugural Neighborhood Ball on ABC, SOS: Help for Haiti Telethon on BET, the Democratic National Convention, and several telecasts of the Grammy Awards.

    Chew's behind-the-scenes work as a musical director includes Donald Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants (2007-2011), as well as international variety show SUTASI, the search for Asia's hottest contemporary music talent. His other on-stage television specials include The BET Honors (2008-2012), BET's Celebration of Gospel (2006-2011), and BET Awards (2005-2011).

    In addition to television and film scores, Chew's in-demand sound can be heard on gold- and platinum-selling records with artists who range from Diana Ross and Donny Hathaway to Alicia Keys.

    Chew and his company Chew Entertainment produced A Night of Inspiration at Carnegie Hall-an all-star, sold-out concert in the spring of 2010. With a mission to foster diversity within the Hall's patronage, Chew was asked to produce, and artistically and musically direct this landmark event. During the concert, he conducted a 53-piece orchestra and a 125-voice mass choir, performing his arrangements for the featured artists from the gospel and secular communities.


    Vivian Scott Chew

    Vivian Scott Chew began her career as the first female African American membership representative for ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). She went on to hold senior positions at Polygram/Universal Records and became the head of urban music at Epic Records / Sony Music. It was during her tenure at Sony that she introduced the world to the dancehall phenomenon by producing gold and platinum albums, leading to back-to-back Grammy Awards for artist Shabba Ranks.

    Chew went on to fill a newly created position in charge of urban music for 550 Music, a boutique label at Sony. During her time with 550, she brought "the funk" to the label with the signing of George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. Clinton's 550 release, T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully-Operational Mothership), garnered his highest-grossing first-week sales and launched the first "Mothership" landing in Central Park in 20 years. In October 2011, she produced the sold-out A Tribute to George Clinton at New York's Apollo Theater.

    Together with her husband Ray Chew, Vivian co-owns Chew Entertainment, a premiere event-management firm whose clients range from the National Urban League, American Heart Association, The Jackie Robinson Foundation, and BET Networks to The Apollo Theater Foundation, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Carnegie Hall. Chew Entertainment also specializes in the art of talent development by supplying musical support for new and established artists.

    Chew is the principal of the international marketing and promotion company TimeZone International, which is the sole US-based company that focuses on the global careers of urban artists. Along with her staff, Chew has worked with Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jill Scott, JAY Z, India.Arie, Brian McKnight, Kem, Raphael Saadiq, Common, Kindred the Family Soul, Lil Wayne, Joe, Toni Braxton, Ledisi, and BeBe and CeCe Winans, to name a few.

    Rounding out her professional accomplishments, Chew understands the importance of offering a charitable hand. In 1993, she co-founded the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Music Industry Dinner, which has raised more than $2.1 million for diabetes research. Past honorees have included Russell Simmons, Bruce Lundvall (former president of Blue Note Records), Michael Greene (former president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), and late music-industry veterans Dick Scott and Jheryl Busby. Chew has also served on the Board of the Directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Northern New Jersey and Rockland County, The Black Rock Coalition, Winston Preparatory School, and Opus 118.

    The Chews are co-directors of their own foundation, Power to Inspire, whose mission is to encourage individuals and groups to embrace the concept of "each one, teach one." The foundation provides mentorships, internships, and career counseling for children and young adults who either aspire to enter into the field of musical arts or who are currently pursuing their goals.

    The Chews are also the proud parents of daughters Loren and Bianca.

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In the Artist's Own Words     

It was the sound of a new generation …

The music of Motown has rung like a bell throughout generations of music lovers and has served as the soundtrack to many great moments in history. As legions of artists build upon the songs and sounds that were Motown, the brand continues to resonate around the world.

The reason that I chose to produce A Tribute to the Music of Motown is because I have a personal affinity with the music. As a child growing up in New York City, I used to work in my grandfather’s record store in Harlem. My sister and I would always receive the latest and hottest records of the moment. During that era, most of the biggest hits were coming from Motown. As the record store was down the block from the Apollo Theater, I would be able to detect when the most popular acts were appearing because the line for the shows would wrap all the way around the full city block ... all day ... for all four shows. It was amazing! The Temptations. The Supremes. The Four Tops. Marvin Gaye. The list goes on and on.

As some might say, “those were the days.” But for me, THIS is the day. And tonight is THE night.

Welcome … to the music of Motown.

—Ray Chew


Ray Chew, Musical Director, introduces A Tribute to the Music of Motown.

This performance is part of The Originals, and Pop Culture - Students.