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“What’s Going On: The Marvin Gaye Experience” to perform at Grand Theatre


    FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2017)  –  “What’s Going On: The Marvin Gaye Experience” will perform at the Grand Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9. Tickets are $20, $25 and $35.


      Brian Owens, one of contemporary music’s leading exponents of 1960s soul music, heads this homage to one of the greats of Motown. Gaye was a legendary singer both as a soloist and in duets with Tammi Terrell. He was also a prolific composer, having written songs such as “What’s Going On,” “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” and “Let’s Get It On.”


    While soul music was at its peak in the 1960s, well before his time, Owens has vivid memories of listening to the greats, such as Sam Cooke and Gaye.


       “The idea of soul interpretation is so embedded in who I am,” Owens said in a recent telephone interview. Nobody was more expressive than Gaye.      “To me, he’s the most versatile musician I’ve ever heard,” Owens said. “I don’t think we talk about his genius enough. His ability to transform his voice, to choose different tonal colors even within a few measures.”


      Beyond his abilities in solo singing, Gaye was equally expressive singing with others, Owens added.


       “He was an incredible duet singer. That speaks to his amazing sensibility as a musician,” Owen said. As an aspiring singer, “he was my Bach and Beethoven.”


       Owens, known as “the new voice of American soul,” draws appreciative audiences to hear his unique interpretations of soul artists. He notes that he doesn’t seek to exactly reproduce a recording by the likes of Gaye, Cooke or Curtis Mayfield


.       “I don’t listen to the records,” he said. “I let the music live through me. It’s not an impersonation show.”


        Owens is backed by drums, guitar, bass, two horns and a duet singer. It is a show that has drawn rave reviews and appreciative audiences throughout the country.


       Beyond his live performances, Owens also has been busy recording. He has a new album out named for his home town in Missouri, “Soul of Ferguson.” The debut single, “For You,” was written by Owens and features a duet with vocal superstar and close friend Michael McDonald, formerly of The Doobie Brothers. Owens wrote eight songs in all for the album


.     The audience at the Grand show can expect all of Marvin Gaye’s hits, Owens said. For many audience members, the show is a reminder of Gaye’s remarkable talent. Others may be new fans.


      “Marvin was a genius,” Owens said. “If they walk away saying that, that ‘I felt Marvin, I felt the spirit,’ then I’ve done my job.”      The show is sponsored by Capital Ovarian Cancer Organization.


        Tickets may be purchased online at the Grand Theatre Web site,, or by contacting the box office weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 352-7469. At press time, tickets remained available at all price levels.