‘Tenors’ merge musical genres

When members of the Tallahassee community poured into the Leon County Civic Center Monday night to see ‘3 Mo’ Tenors’, hopefully they knew Luciano Pavarotti would not be among the headliners.

‘Three Mo’ Tenors’ is a group of classically trained African-American tenors who go beyond the norm when it comes to putting on a show.

“Three Mo’ Tenors” premiered on the third day of Tallahassee’s Seven Days of Opening Nights, FSU’s annual celebration of fine arts.

Audience members were treated to more than two hours of operatic singing, with a twist – which included their rendition of “Minnie the Moocher” by Cab Calloway and classic rhythm and blues hits like “Midnight Train to Georgia,” by Gladys Knight and The Pips.

The show was somewhat of a homecoming for “Three Mo’ Tenors” director, Marion Caffey, a FAMU alumnus who originally thought up the collaboration of three classically-trained black tenors.

Co-producer Brenda Trawick is an FSU alumnae and Dale Jordan, the scenic and lighting director of the concert, heads up FSU’s MFA scenic design program of their school of theatre. Finishing out the connection to Tallahassee was the addition of the FSU and FAMU concert and gospel choirs, with the Tallahassee Boy’s Choir rounding up the list of cameo appearances.

The Tenors’ combination of traditional, jazz, R&B, spiritual and gospel music made for a successful show that brought out members from every corner of the Tallahassee community for a good time.

Though kinks still came to view, such as the poor quality of sound heard at times by members of the audience in higher areas of the civic center, the kinks were overshadowed by the unique blends that were being performed on stage.

Highlights of the show included a medley of songs from the 60s and 70s of rhythm and blues, including the hits “Love Train” by The O’Jays, “Oh Girl” by the Chi-Lites, “Betcha’ By Golly Wow” made popular by The Stylistics.

A special tribute for those caught in the storm of the Sept. 11 tragedy was made near the closing of the show when the Tenors, the FAMU and FSU Concert and Gospel Choirs and the Tallahassee Boys Choir joined together to sing “America the Beautiful.”

The Tenors closed their show amid hooting and cheers for an encore, and left every member of the audience with a performance they will not soon forget.