Behind the Scenes
For over 50 years, the music of Motown has conveyed an ongoing celebration of life, love, and community, as stars like Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, and James Brown collaborated with legendary songwriters such as Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, and Smokey Robinson. These collaborations are behind the moments of musical magic captured in Dancing in the Street.
In fall of 2018, the primary cast came together for the first rehearsal at The Cutting Room in New York City. For the producers from Greenberg Artists and Schirmer Theatrical, listening to Shayna Steele, Michael Lynche, and Chester Gregory harmonize, the talent in the room was palpable. When asked about his connection to the music of Motown, lead vocalist Michael Lynche shared that he grew up on this music: “I think each of us singers are of the generation where our parents had this music playing throughout our youth. I had a great childhood and this music continually takes me back to happy memories.”
Since its world premiere with the Long Beach Symphony in October 2018, Dancing in the Street has been performed by orchestras throughout the US, including orchestras in Detroit, Virginia, Santa Barbara, Chattanooga, Greenville, Hartford, Grand Rapids, Dallas, Oregon, Louisville, St. Louis, Buffalo, Greensboro, and North Carolina, among others.
- Dancing in the Street
written by Marvin Gaye, Ivy George Hunter and William Stevenson, recorded by Martha Reeves
- You Really Got A Hold On Me
written by Smokey Robinson, recorded by The Miracles
- Man’s World
written by James Brown, Betty Jean Newsome and Dwight Grant, recorded by James Brown
- Reach Out I’ll Be There
written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, recorded by The Four Tops
- Touch Me In The Morning
written by Michael Masser and Ronald Norman Miller, recorded by Diana Ross
- Just To See Her
written by Jimmy George and Louis Pardini, recorded by Smokey Robinson
- How Sweet It Is
written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, recorded by Marvin Gaye
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
written and recorded by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson
- Song For You
written by Leon Russell, recorded by Donny Hathaway
written and recorded by Stevie Wonder
- Let’s Groove Tonight
written by Maurice White and Wayne Lee Vaughn, recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire
- I Feel Good
written and recorded by James Brown
- My Guy
written by Smokey Robinson, recorded by Mary Wells
- My Girl
written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, recorded by The Temptations
- Endless Love
written by Lionel Richie, recorded by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
- Could It Be I’m Falling In Love
written by Melvin Steals and Mervin Steals, recorded by The Spinners
- Don’t Leave Me This Way
written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Cary Gilbert, recorded by Thelma Houston
- Higher and Higher
written by Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner, and Carl William Smith, recorded by Jackie Wilson
- All Night Long
written and recorded by Lionel Richie
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)
written by Stevie Wonder, Lee Garrett, Lula Mae Hardaway, and Syreeta Wright, recorded by Stevie Wonder
ALL ARRANGEMENTS LICENSED BY SCHIRMER THEATRICAL, LLC
Dancing in the Street is a co-production of Schirmer Theatrical and Greenberg Artists, part of their joint Symphonic Experience catalogue. Set list subject to change.
(Nashville, Harrisburg & Toronto)
At the age of 15, Broadway (Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Hairspray) and international vocalist Shayna Steele’s appearance on Ed McMahon’s Star Search was her first experience performing in front of a nationally televised audience. After losing by a 1/2 star, Steele returned to her hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi to finish high school and pursue a music degree before exposing herself to the cutthroat “reality” of the business. “I was embarrassed and defeated. I wanted nothing more than to go home and crawl in a hole.”
A completely unexpected call in 2005 would drop her squarely in the middle of a genre she had absolutely no experience with: Electronica. Hearing that Moby “needed a screamer” for a track from his new album, Hotel, a mutual friend recommended Steele, resulting in the second single “Raining Again.” Two years later she was back, laying down vocals for “Extreme Ways” (Moby’s theme song to The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy and Jason Bourne films), and in early 2008, “Disco Lies“, the first single from Moby’s 2008 release, Last Night. The song reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram’s summer blockbuster, Cloverfield, and The Backup Plan, starring Jennifer Lopez. Her voice has remained highly in demand; she performed on the soundtracks for Hairspray and Sex and the City 2, NBC’s Smash, the 2008 Summer Olympic BBC highlights, and the 2021 motion picture soundtrack release for In the Heights. Steele has also made television guest appearances on HBO’s The Sopranos and she reprised her Broadway role with the “Dynamites” in NBC’s Hairspray Live.
After spending eight years as a Broadway ensemble member in shows such as Rent and Hairspray, and six years in the background supporting artists like Bette Midler, Rihanna, and Kelly Clarkson, Steele stepped out on her own. She released her 3rd studio album, Watch Me Fly, following the huge success of her album, Rise, in 2015 which reached #3 on the U.S. iTunes jazz charts. Her self-penned song “Gone Under,” from the same album, was personally selected by Michael League of Grammy® Award-winning band Snarky Puppy to be arranged for their album, Family Dinner, Volume 1.
Steele has appeared as a soloist and guest artist with over 40 symphony orchestras throughout North America. Her most recent solo concert, Nothin’ but the Blues, written and conducted by Maestro Jeff Tyzik, is one of many highlights in her symphonic solo career.
Crystal Monee Hall
(Fort Worth & Sarasota)
Crystal Monee Hall (s/h/h) is a singer/songwriter, composer and vocal director/arranger/producer based in NYC. Recent credits include Goddess (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), ALLSWELL the Movie (Dir. Ben Snyder), Choir Boy (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Darius De Haas’ You Send Me: The Songs and Soul of Sam Cook (92Y Lyrics and Lyricists), Where We Dwell (New York City Center), Ayodele Casel’s Chasing Magic (American Repertory Theater), Walker (CW network), “A Beautiful Noise” (Gospel Arrangement), Ben Platt: Live From Radio City Music Hall (Netflix), PBS Kids (Donkey Hodie, Nature Cat), Black Ink Crew (VH1), HBO’s High Maintenance, Stars on Stage: Brandon Victor Dixon (PBS), Cynthia Erivo: Live From Lincoln Center (PBS), Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead), RENT (Nederlander Theater), Kristen Chenoweth, Thomas Rhett, Renee Elise Goldsberry, John Legend, Patti Austin, Oleta Adams. Awards include The Lilly Awards’ 2021 “Go Write a Musical” award and the Black Theatre Coalition’s inaugural Composer Fellowship in 2022.
Naärai hails from Sarasota, FL, and is a proud Howard University graduate, where she received her BFA in Theatre Arts, magna cum laude. After the release of her first solo EP, On My Way in 2015, Naärai moved to Los Angeles where she’s spent the last seven years making a name for herself as professional singer. She’s had the privilege of providing background vocals for Beyoncé (Coachella Music Festival, Homecoming film and album, Renaissance), Tori Kelly, Mariah Carey, and Kanye West (Jesus is King, Jesus is Born, and Donda). In 2021 she was featured as a soloist on Elton John’s single “Finish Line”, featuring Stevie Wonder.
This year, Naärai released her single “Perfect” to rave reviews around the globe!
Chester Gregory is an award-winning singer, actor, and producer, who was last seen starring in Motown The Musical as Berry Gordy on Broadway. Gregory’s additional Broadway credits include Hairspray (Seaweed), Tarzan (Terk – Original Broadway Cast), Cry-Baby (Dupree – Original Broadway Cast), and Sister Act (Eddie – Original Broadway Cast). His national tour credits include roles in Dreamgirls and Sister Act, as well as his one-man show, The Eve of Jackie Wilson. Gregory’s acting credits include roles in August Wilson’s Fences and Two Trains Running.
Gregory has received many awards, including the Jeff Award and an NAACP Theatre Award. He has also been presented with the keys to two cities: one for his hometown of Gary, Indiana, and one for East Chicago. Gregory was selected to be an Honorary State Representative for Indiana and received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, Columbia College Chicago.
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. “Big Mike”—as he was known while winning over the hearts of a nation during his stint on season 9 of American Idol—has talent so versatile that he’s played in venues spanning from intimate clubs, to 20,000-seat arenas, to opera halls with 100-piece orchestras. Through it all, Lynche has always had one singular goal: to spread a message of love wherever he goes.
A Florida native turned New Yorker, Lynche performed throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! Tour, released two studio albums, toured as an opening act for Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans, and Lyfe Jennings, and toured the world sharing honest stories through soul music. Since 2012, Lynche has been frequently featured as a guest vocalist with Maestro Jeff Tyzik and collaborating on the creation of new symphonic concerts, including “Kings of Soul” and “Dancing in the Street – The Music of Motown.” Lynche has performed with orchestras all over the US and Canada, including the Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Jake Navarro is a NYC-based rock drummer who studied Jazz and Commercial music at Five Towns College in Long Island, NY. Navarro was a Music Director for Carnival Cruise Lines and also tours with multiple pops shows, performing with symphony orchestras all over the country. He is also a children’s music teacher, a studio and touring musician for various artists, and performs with several major event bands in the New York Metropolitan region.
(Nashville, Fort Worth & Harrisburg)
Shubh Saran is a New York-based guitarist, composer, and producer who has performed globally with his band throughout the United States, India, Canada, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Mexico. Having grown up in six different countries, his career has been shaped by a mixture of influences. Saran’s intricate compositions fuse sounds from modern jazz, neo-soul, and rock, with classical and contemporary Indian music. In October 2021, Saran independently released his second full-length album titled inglish – a groundbreaking work that explores concepts of assimilation, global identity, and native culture. The album was included on Pitchfork‘s list of Best Jazz and Experimental Music of 2021.
Before moving to New York City to start his music career, Saran studied at Berklee College of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. In 2017, Saran made his critically acclaimed debut with the release of Hmayra, and later followed up with H.A.D.D. (2018), and Becoming (2019). Throughout his career as a recording artist, each release has represented a different introspection for Saran.
(Harrisburg, Sarasota & Rochester)
Born and raised in New York, Brian Killeen has had a healthy obsession with music since as early as he can remember. By the time he picked up a bass guitar at the age of ten, he was certain of a career as a musician. By grasping at every performance opportunity, and seeking the tutelage of the best educators available, he quickly found himself immersed in the worlds of jazz, rock, and everything in between.
At the age of 18, the great Avishai Cohen would take him under his wing, leading to performances in New York City’s most noted jazz clubs including The Blue Note, Birdland, Small’s, and Sweet Basil. Simultaneously, Killeen would enroll in William Paterson University’s famed jazz program, where he would learn to actively double between upright and electric basses. Out of college, Killeen toured extensively with experimental funk stalwarts ulu, funk/roots-rock outfit the Josh Dion Band, and guitar legend Chuck Loeb, leading to unforgettable performances in the US, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, and Japan. As Killeen settled into NYC, he embraced freelance life, backing up a variety of artists including Rachel Platten, A Great Big World, Liz Longley, Barnaby Bright, Caleb Hawley, Robbie Gil, Joe Sumner, Bill Evans, and Jim Campilongo. Killeen continues to back up a host of performers, often joined by long-time collaborators and NYC mainstay Brooklyn Sugar Co.
Killeen feels equally at home in orchestral and theatrical settings. He has been the long-time bass chair for the Big Apple Circus, where he learned to welcome the unexpected. He also had the pleasure of being featured on the Today Show, for the Broadway production of The Cher Show. Killeen has been performing in Schirmer Theatrical and Greenberg Artists’ co-productions since 2019, and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to play some of the world’s finest music alongside the country’s most acclaimed conductors and symphony orchestras.
(Nashville and Fort Worth)
(Sarasota and Rochester)
Producer & Arranger
Producer & Booking Agent
Schirmer Theatrical is a concert production company specializing in the creation of symphonic experiences, film with live orchestra concerts, and theatrical productions.
Greenberg Artists is an artist management and concert production company striving to bring the highest level of talent and musical integrity to audiences around the world.
Come and Get These Memories:
The Genius of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Motown’s Incomparable Songwriters
As the creative force behind Berry Gordy Jr.’s Motown Records in the mid-Sixties, a writing credit from Holland Dozier Holland was virtually a guarantee of chart success. From ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’ to ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’, they were the songwriting and production dream team responsible for some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century.
In this compelling autobiography, brothers Eddie and Brian Holland share their story for the first time, starting with growing up in Detroit raised by a single mother and their grandmother, before shining a light on their early musical careers. A gifted lyricist, Eddie started out as a solo singer with Berry Gordy as his manager before partnering up with Brian and Lamont Dozier, both talented arrangers and producers.
When Holland Dozier Holland came together, they helped transform Motown Records from a local soul label into a worldwide hit factory, home to international superstars such as Marvin Gaye, Martha & The Vandellas, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, The Four Tops and The Isley Brothers. After an awe-inspiring tenure they left Motown in 1968, continuing their successes at new labels and with new collaborators for years to come.
Featuring honest and open first-hand accounts, Come and Get These Memories is more than just a behind-the-scenes look at Motown Records at its peak: Eddie and Brian set the record straight on both their personal and professional lives and offer a revealing slice of pop-music history.
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I’ll Be There: My Life with the Four Tops
Spanning over decades, this is the remarkable, heartfelt memoir from Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, the last surviving member of The Four Tops. Amidst a backdrop of Detroit, I’ll Be There features revealing anecdotes from the group’s formation, their early days as backup singers for the likes of Jackie Wilson, and their years working with Berry Gordy at the legendary Motown Records.
With era-defining number ones like ‘I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)’ and ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’ came stardom and also a more enduring reward: the love of four men who become tighter than brothers. Together they comprise one of the most celebrated R&B groups of all time. But remarkable musical success didn’t spare Fakir the pain of marital distress, soured investment deals, struggles with sobriety and the sudden loss of his brothers, all of which he covers in this confessional, unmissable book.
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“The audience was so receptive, and [the] band and singers were a delight. Most importantly, the music and [Jeff Tyzik’s] arrangements were superb. The orchestra performed beautifully and really seemed to enjoy themselves.”– Henry Panion III, PhD, Guest Conductor, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra