Denver a cappella group Motive to make Glenwood Springs debut |

Denver a cappella group Motive to make Glenwood Springs debut

MOTIVE is Will Wilson, Abran Poot, Ashley Banks, Tania Katz, Aubrie Hamrick, Tyler Wigginton and Zakk Wooten. The a cappella group will be performing in Glenwood Springs for the first time on Saturday at the Vaudeville Theatre.
Eric Weber |

If You Go...

Who: Motive

What: Concert

When: Doors at 7 p.m., performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday

Where: Vaudeville Theatre

How Much: $20

In case you haven’t noticed from TV shows like NBC’s “The Sing-Off” or movies like “Pitch Perfect,” a cappella music ain’t what it used to be.

The barbershop quartet style has in some cases been done away with in favor of a more contemporary sound, featuring all-vocal arrangements, including beat boxing, of pop and rock favorites.

This modern style of a cappella music will be demonstrated on Saturday at the Vaudeville Theatre by Motive, a seven-piece a cappella group from Denver that stands out even among its modern counterparts for its gritty, grungy, rock and roll sound.

“It’s not cumberbuns and sequins anymore,” said Thomas Breslin, director of marketing and talent management for Sonic Audio, the production company responsible for putting Motive together. “They like to take on familiar music that makes their sound a little darker and more rock.”

Some of the songs Motive will perform on Saturday are “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Gladys Knight and the Pips and “Rumor Has It” by Adele. Motive also arranges mashups of songs, so they’ll go from The Beatles to Tupac — no, really — before the audience even realizes they’re changing tunes.

“We like to span the ages and sing something for everyone,” said Zakk Wooten, the baritone in the group. “Contemporary a cappella in general is quite exciting and different than things people would be familiar with in that genre. We like to do the songs that most people would be kind of scared of doing a cappella.”

Motive’s seven members were chosen by Breslin and Sonic Audio founder Tony Huerta through an audition process that saw around 70 hopefuls. Huerta and Wooten met before then on the set of “The Sing-Off,” where Huerta’s group Urban Method and Wooten’s group The Cat’s Pajamas competed in 2011.

“The chemistry between all of them was just as important as the talent,” Breslin said. “They’re all incredible musicians on their own. They’ve come from all backgrounds, including jazz, barbershop, Zakk was the frontman for many modern rock bands, some of them were music teachers. So they come from all walks of life, and all of those different aspects created what makes them original.”

Breslin said although Sonic Audio compiled the group, the members of Motive have complete creative control, and the studio does its part by backing them through promotions, studio time and booking live performances.

Motive has been performing in the Denver area and has done some traveling, but this will be the group’s first performance on the Western Slope. Wooten said only one of the seven members has ever been to Glenwood Springs before.

“We’re all super excited,” Wooten said.

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