One of the perks of being publisher of Music Industry Quarterly (MIQ) magazine is the near endless list of concerts, showcases and performances that I get to experience; some by established legends and current charting artists, to up and coming emerging artists.
Saturday evening, July 22, was a tad different, though, because I got to witness a good friend display his talents in front of an attentive audience inside the atrium of the landmark Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Scott People may not be a household name, but he should be. A Detroit native who now resides in Los Angeles, Scott’s strong theatrical background includes roles in the popular plays Dreamgirls, The Wiz, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Live From Las Vegas – The Rat Pack (where he played the role of Sammy Davis Jr). He’s also shared the stage with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Don Felder of the Eagles, and crooner Michael Bublé.
The Bonaventure and the night belonged to Scott, who along with his 5 piece band, performed some two-dozen songs (along with an intermission), that spanned a variety of genres and generations. He entertained us with a Rock classic, The Beatles’ “Come Together”; traditional theater, “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Changes Everything”; classic R&B, The Commodores/Lionel Richie’s “Easy”; to receiving a standing ovation for his awe-inspiring version of Donnie McClurkin’s Gospel anthem “Stand.” Other standouts were his version of Eric Clapton & Babyface’s “Change the World,” and Oleta Adams’ beautiful ballad, “I Just Had to Hear You Voice.”
Scott wanted to ensure the younger generation was also served—performing a jovial version of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” (who knew Scott could rap), and Beyoncé’s ballad “Sandcastles,” to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” along with Bruno Mars signature songs, “That’s What I Like” and “Uptown Funk.” It was those songs that quickly attracted random Bonaventure guests to stop and enjoy the show as well.
It was Scott’s command of Traditional Pop and Jazz standards that impressed me most. It was his versions of “Fly Me to The Moon,” (Nina Simone’s) “Feeling Good,” and “What A Wonderful World,” that provided a care and poignancy so essential when performing those songs….yet if anything blew me away it was when he was joined on stage by three of his longtime vocal-mates (Olivia Hilburn, Pam Blackmon Kindle and Pat Sasha Lee) for a fun and sassy version of “Cloud Burst” made famous during the 1960s by the Jazz- scatting vocal trio of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (Google it…wink!)
Overall, what an enjoyable night of diversity, friends, family and fantastic music, all within a superb supper club atmosphere. If I know Scott People, he is already preparing for an encore.
Kudos to veteran publicist Kenneth Reynolds for hosting the event.