Motown: The Groove That Changed America


Detroit, Michigan or the “Motor City” has earned its place at the center of automotive history. But it may be remembered longer as the birthplace of Motown, the record label favored by young African American artists that launched a musical revolution. Local audiences will have a chance to hear the soul music with the distinctive pop flavor, when the Space Coast Symphony JAZZ Orchestra presents MOTOWN: The Groove That Changed America at 3:00 PM on Sunday, July 14 at the Emerson Center, 1590 27th Avenue in Vero Beach, 32960.

Celebrating the distinctive “Motown Sound,” trombonist Frank Wosar will conduct the jazz orchestra in a program of hits made famous by artists like Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, the Supremes, the Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. The audience can expect to hear “My Girl,” “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” “Try A Little Tenderness,” “I Heard it Through the Grape Vine,” “Ain’t No Mountain,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Keep Me Hanging On,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Shotgun,” “Do You Love Me,” “It Takes Two,” “Proud Mary,” “My Cherie Amore,” “Respect” and more. Under the slogan “The Sound of Young America,” Motown’s acts enjoyed widespread popularity among black and white audiences alike. Motown Records achieved spectacular success for a small label: Between 1961 and 1971, Motown artists had 110 Top Ten hits. The label continues to this day, under the Los Angeles based Capitol Music Group.  Joanne Collins, Walt Disney World choreographer and professional dancer, will perform alongside dancer Kaitlyn Cahalen during MOTOWN: The Groove That Changed America. The pair will complement the musical fare with historically inspired dance numbers.  $25 advance tickets for adults are available through the orchestra website  at or at the Marine Bank & Trust, mainland and beachside branches.  Tickets at the door are $30.  MOTOWN: The Groove That Changed America is free for those aged 18 and under or with a student ID. For more information, call toll free to 855-252-7276 or visit

Jazz Trombone Professor, Frank Wosar is the lead/solo trombonist for The One and Only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the lead trombonist for the Dr. Phillips Jazz Orchestra. The Director of Jazz Bands at Valencia College, Wosar has great appreciation for the distinctive Motown sound.

“Like Jazz, the music of Motown transcended social, cultural, and ethnic boundaries,” said Wosar.  It brought together people of different races and backgrounds, male and female, old and young and put its indelible stamp on American musical history.”

Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American–owned label that achieved significant crossover success. In a 2009 interview for the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, legendary singer-songwriter, Smokey Robinson discussed Motown’s cultural impact.

“Into the 1960s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history. But I did recognize the impact because acts were going all over the world at that time. I recognized the bridges that we crossed, the racial problems and the barriers that we broke down with music. I recognized that because I lived it. I would come to the South in the early days of Motown and the audiences would be segregated. Then they started to get the Motown music and we would go back and the audiences were integrated and the kids were dancing together and holding hands.”

The Space Coast Symphony JAZZ Orchestra concert is an homage to the artists who crafted the trademark “Motown Sound” and the unique rhythmic groove that changed America. For more information about the Space Coast Symphony’s 2019-20 Season or the Symphony for Everyone discount ticket program, please or call toll-free (855) 252-7276.

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