Experience sound of Marvin Gaye at Sumter Opera House

Brian Owens pays tribute to late singer


What's going on Saturday at the Sumter Opera House?

Sumter Cultural Manager Seth Reimer and his staff will bring another tribute performance to the stage for one performance only, at 7:30 p.m. Brian Owens and his Marvin Gaye Experience will entertain the audience with Gaye's Motown sound.

Owens is an accomplished singer-songwriter with four albums released since 2012. His Saturday show will comprise performances that span Gaye's career, which ended tragically in 1984 with his death at the hands of his father.

Considered one of the greatest singers of all time, Gaye released more than 50 albums, so Owens' set will be rich with the late artist's soul and Motown hits. Gaye was known for his romantic and sensual songs as well as for addressing racial and environmental issues in his music. Among his songs are "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Let's Get It On," "Stubborn Kind of Fellow," "Can I Get a Witness," "Abraham, Martin and John," and many duets with such singers as Tammi Terrell ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough"), Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.

Owens has recorded his own interpretations of several legendary singers, notably Johnny Cash on his CD titled "Soul of Cash." The Indy Review said of the 2017 album, "soul singer Brian Owens orchestrates the reinterpreting and reinvention of some of Johnny Cash's most popular songs with impeccable results."

Rolling Stone magazine called him a "vibrant soul singer" who "bridges a racial and generational divide," and his CD tribute to Gaye, titled "You're All I Need to Get By," shows his mastery of Gaye's soul and R&B style. Owens said The Marvin Gaye Experience is about "preservation - upholding the tradition of true soul music that is so desperately needed in our culture today."

Reimer said of Owens, "We were extremely fortunate to be able to find a spot in Brian Owens' busy schedule for him to bring the Marvin Gaye Experience to Sumter. He has played all over the world, and everywhere he goes, fans ask when he will return. I have no doubt that patrons of the Sumter Opera House will do the same."

Tickets for the Marvin Gaye Experience are $25 to $30. The 7:30 p.m. Saturday concert will be presented at the historic Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St., in the heart of downtown Sumter. Free parking is available nearby. For more information or tickets, visit www.SumterOperaHouse.com online or call (803) 436-2616.