Motown concert in Breckenridge to benefit Domus Pacis Family Respite | SummitDaily.com

Motown concert in Breckenridge to benefit Domus Pacis Family Respite

Ron Ivory has come a long way from his days of singing Smokey Robinson in the kitchen with a broomstick for a microphone. Before he hit any stages, Ivory was singing on street corners in downtown Denver: 32nd & Steele, 34th & St. Paul and Wilson Court.

The Colorado native has been writing songs and composing melodies for as long as he can remember. Ivory will perform with his current bands for Motown Memory Tribute, a concert benefiting local nonprofit Domus Pacis Family Respite, on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Riverwalk Center.

INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

Around 1967, Ivory seized an opportunity to step into the spotlight. At age 13, he joined an already established quartet, later called The Tender Fore.

"One evening we were in my friend's basement and as usual we were listening to Motown," Ivory said. "We were messing around and singing 'Ooh Baby Baby' and one of my buddies asked me if I wanted to sing with the group."

As the middle harmony, Ivory seemed to fill the gaps between harmonies well. They dialed one of the other band members, had Ivory sing a tune or two over the phone and swiftly decided Ivory was to be the latest addition to the band.

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This was the beginning of Ivory's career; however, his 1995 album "Get Right To It" put him on the map. With next year marking 50 years in the music industry, Ivory has played with many bands.

Currently Ivory tours with three groups — Miles Apart Band, the One on One quartet and his trio, Expressions. A multi-talented group of performers, most of the vocalists play instruments.

Ivory is a well-known figure in Colorado's music scene in both the Front Range, as well as in the High Country. This weekend at the Riverwalk Center, Ivory will be performing with both the One on One quartet and the Miles Apart Band for a Motown Tribute. All will be dressed for the occasion in the traditional Motown getup.

"When I was growing up I would lose my breath when the musicians would come out on stage dressed in colorful, outrageous outfits," said Ivory. "I try to maintain that in my group, so the audience sees these good looking, blinging ladies and gentlemen."

Picture a seven-piece band behind a group of men and women dressed to the nines — colorful, sparkling, ironed-to-perfection suits — and you have this Saturday's Motown tribute show.

Ivory does most of the musical and vocal arrangements, along with the choreography and wardrobe selections, particularly for the One on One group.

"I am very excited for this performance," he said. "We will have some fun with the band and we have some dance steps that we do."

Ivory said that the group will be playing classic songs from the '60s and '70s era. Cue Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind and Fire, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder.

"These are very universal, happy songs that unite," Ivory said. "They allow us to interact with the audience. The audience always leaves feeling really good and excited."

Motown is cross-generational, upbeat and easy to groove to. That was what Duck and Vince White-Petteruti thought when they booked Ivory and his bands for the Motown tribute show.

"When people hear Motown, they start moving," said Duck White-Petteruti, founder of Domus Pacis Family Respite. "They get up and dance. It will be a very fun night with a lot of energy."

Domus Pacis allows families experiencing a cancer diagnosis to share time together and to heal.

"We allow all of the people on this person's journey to come together in these beautiful mountains to find peace, celebrate life and make memories," Duck said.

Domus Pacis hosts more than 100 families annually, and gets most of its funding from private donations. The benefit concerts are the second largest contributor in funding these families.

Their previous two concerts this year have had large attendances, and the organization is expecting another sell out this weekend.

IF YOU GO

What: Motown Memory Tribute Concert with Ron Ivory and the One on One

When: Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge

Cost: $35/VIP, $25/GA, $10/Child