Program features Motown and Philly Sound classics including “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “What’s Going On,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “I’m Coming Out,” and more
Tickets on sale now at dso.org
Detroit, (September 7, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will return to Orchestra Hall to kick off the 2023–2024 PNC Pops Series on October 6–7. Tyzik will lead the DSO and vocalists Chester Gregory, Ashley Jayy, and Brik.Liam in performances of Motown and Philly Sound classics.
Detroit’s Motown defined an era. Not to be outdone, Philadelphia created its own essential listening. Philly Sound hits, like “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” face off with Motown classics, including “What’s Going On,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “I’m Coming Out,” and more. Let's Groove Tonight: Motown & The Philly Sound will take place Friday, October 6 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 7 at 8 p.m. and at Orchestra Hall.
Tickets for these performances start at $24 and can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The title sponsor of the DSO’s PNC Pops Series is PNC Bank.
LET’S GROOVE TONIGHT: MOTOWN & THE PHILLY SOUND
PNC Pops Series
Friday, October 6 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 7 at 8 p.m.
Jeff Tyzik, conductor
Chester Gregory, vocals
Ashley Jayy, vocals
Chris Kuffner, guitar
Douglas Marriner, drums
Detroit’s Motown defined an era. Not to be outdone, Philadelphia created its own essential listening. Philly Sound hits, like “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New”, face off with Motown classics, including “What’s Going On,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “I’m Coming Out,” and more.
About Jeff Tyzik
Grammy Award-winner Jeff Tyzik is one of America’s most innovative and sought-after pops conductors. Tyzik is recognized for his brilliant arrangements, original programming, and engaging rapport with audiences of all ages. In addition to his role as Principal Pops Conductor of the DSO, Tyzik holds The Dot and Paul Mason Principal Pops Conductor’s Podium at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and also serves as principal pops conductor of the Oregon Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and Rochester Philharmonic – a post he has held for 23 seasons.
Frequently invited as a guest conductor, Tyzik has appeared with the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Milwaukee Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In May 2007, the Harmonia Mundi label released his recording of works by Gershwin with pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the RPO, which stayed in the Top 10 on the Billboard classical chart for over three months. Alex Ross of the New Yorker called it “one of the snappiest Gershwin discs in years.”
Committed to performing music of all genres, Tyzik has collaborated with such diverse artists as Megan Hilty, Chris Botti, Matthew Morrison, Wynonna Judd, Tony Bennett, Art Garfunkel, Dawn Upshaw, Marilyn Horne, Arturo Sandoval, The Chieftains, Mark O’Connor, Doc Severinsen, and John Pizzarelli. He has created numerous original programs that include the greatest music from jazz and classical to Motown, Broadway, film, dance, Latin, and swing. Tyzik holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music. For more information, visit jefftyzik.com.
About Chester Gregory
Chester Gregory is an award-winning Broadway veteran and recording artist. The New York Times calls him, "jaw dropping...over flowingly charismatic," stating “Gregory has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.” His Broadway credits include starring in Motown: The Musical (Berry Gordy), Hairspray (Seaweed), Sister Act (Eddie), Tarzan (Terk, Original Cast), and Cry-Baby (Dupree, Original Cast). National tours include Motown: The Musical (Berry Gordy), Sister Act (Eddie), and Dreamgirls (James “Thunder” Early). Gregory's breakthrough role came with his outstanding portrayal of Jackie Wilson in The Jackie Wilson Story, launched at Chicago's Black Ensemble Theatre and culminated at New York's renowned Apollo Theatre. Regional theatre credits include Shrek (Donkey), Fences (Lyons), and Two Trains Running (Sterling). Television appearances include performances on The Daily Show, The View, and The Tony Awards. As a recording artist, Gregory, also known as CHΞSS, has collaborated with industry greats including Phil Collins, Marc Shaiman, Ledisi, and Chance the Rapper. Studio recordings include multiple singles, Original Broadway Cast recordings, and his album In Search of High Love. He is the recipient of Chicago’s Jeff Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, the key to the city of his hometown of Gary, Indiana, as well as an honorary Doctorate Degree from Columbia College Chicago. Concerts include Higher and Higher with Artists Lounge Live and his original concert The Eve of Jackie.
About Ashley Jayy
Born and raised in Portland, under the influence of her musically inclined father, Ashley Jayy was destined to sing the songs that resonates with the soul. Jayy started her first formal training in gospel choirs, and singing at every opportunity during her high school years. It was her supportive teacher who pushed her to be confident in her new found vocal abilities, and to pursue growth as a singer.
This growth and courage would lead her to win the youth division of the 2006 McDonald’s Gospel Fest in Seattle. Jayy would compete again in New York at the legendary Apollo Theater, marking the beginning of her path amongst the greats. Jayy’s journey would lead her again as she began immersing herself in the vibrant Portland music scene. Every week she would find the musicians slinging funk in her area at the infamous ‘‘Dookie Jam.” It was in this local music community that she met many incredibly talented artists including Liv Warfield. As she strived for excellence in honing her craft the next few years would lead Jayy to sharpening her ear and heightening her vocal ability to translate notes into something bold, unique, and different.
It was this focused growth and talent that caught the eye of Prince who predicted that she would be a star. Prince taught Jayy the importance of using music to talk about the world, purpose and humanity through art. From then on, she would begin to speak through her music. When Prince died in 2016, Jayy’s life shifted. She took time to focus on her personal life and used her courage to explore who she was as an artist through instagram. In 2017, she released a harmonizing video with R&B singer Tank that went viral. This would eventually catch the eye of Jennifer Lopez’s Music Director, who encouraged Jayy to keep going because people were watching.
This initial leap of faith on instagram has opened so many doors and connections, and has given Jayy the opportunity to work legends from Tank, Monica, Tevin Campbell, PJ Morton, Focus, and more. Jayy is now a highly sought after singer, writer, and vocal arranger. She released her first solo project in the fall of 2020.
Brik.Liam is a R&B/soul singer/songwriter and visual artist with a signature sound shaped by influence from Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, and Brandy. Born into a military family in Petersburg, VA as Jacoby J. Williams, Brik.Liam’s eclectic style is partially the result of the places he has called home: from Schweinfurt, Germany; to Atlanta, Georgia; and Killeen and Houston, Texas.
Brik.Liam’s matriculation at Clark Atlanta University was filled with both struggle and inspiration, intensifying his creativity and placing him in high demand as a performing artist. Intentionally focusing on creative growth, Brik.Liam started the #cre8daily movement with the goal to inspire others to create and expand their opportunities.
In March 2012, Brik.Liam released his freshman project, CobyMeetsWord: Acoustic Heart. The mixtape was recorded with fellow indie artist, producer, and writer Douglas Whatley. With no specific goal in mind other than to #crea8, the project reached over 3,000 downloads within the first two weeks of its release. After returning to Houston in the winter of 2013, Brik was inspired to change his stage name from Jacoby to Brik.Liam in celebration of his favorite color, red (brick; Brik), and his last name (Williams; Liam).
Brik.Liam’s sophomore project, Mr. Liam’s Neighborhood, debuted in March 2014. In collaboration with friend and fellow artist and songwriter Kori James, the pair highlighted Brik’s growth through the project and helped others feel inspired to grow. With Mr. Liam’s Neighborhood, Brik.Liam also showed his visual artistry, adding individual artwork to each song on the project and crafting an authentic musical and visual experience.
About the DSO
The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019–2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.