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Uptown performs at the Bicknell Center

Derrick Leonárd and Bradford Bell, singers with Uptown music group performs at the Bicknell Center on Saturday, Sept. 18. Dominic Santiago

Uptown music group performed their show “Motown Remixed” live at the Bicknell Center on Saturday Sept. 18. The performance was of many stops in their breakout tour following the shutdown of concerts during 2020.

The group is popular in the northeast part of the United States and performs classic songs from the 70s and 80s with a unique twist on the original music. They talk more about their start in the music industry on their website.

“Uptown started their career early 2017 with dedication, youthful energy, and a passion for their craft that they continue with to this day,” the website says. “From their humble beginnings in Harlem NYC, they have managed to spread their unique perspective on Motown/Soul to audiences all over the globe.”

Bradford Bell, member of Uptown, spoke about the groups start in New York City.

“We all performed in New York in a basement,” Bell said. “We all love Motown music. We decided to create this show and we wrote the choreography and made it happen.”

They have appeared on many different TV stations and programs. These opportunities have helped give Uptown a large enough following to go on tour. Uptown talked more about their previous performances on their website.

“Members of Uptown have been seen on X-Factor (USA), NBC’s ‘The Winner Is’, POP STARS, and have performed at top notch venues around the globe,” the website says.

Many members of the group have been listening to Motown music since they were kids. They hope to introduce the style of music to a new generation of people. However, they also want to create an experience that older generations can enjoy too.

“Absolutely, you know a lot of this music is so timeless and classic and whether they [younger people] know it,” Derrick Leonárd, another member of Uptown, said. “They’ve definitely heard it, whether in passing or on commercials and movies and things like that. And it’s so important to keep a legacy and to have these great songs alive and hopefully that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re accomplishing every time we perform.”

Uptown wants to entertain everyone they perform in front of with the power of music.

“Music is universal, and music brings us together,” Leonárd said. “It’s all about love, peace and harmony, so we hope that everyone that listens to our music watches our show leaves with that in mind.”

The group uses songs from the 1970s and 1980s and add their own personal style to those old works. But the group also loves to perform songs released in the last decade.

“I really love Bruno Mars,” Bell said. “His music has that old school feel, but there’s a lot of energy. It has a really young and millennial feeling. It just gets everyone up on their feet and dancing.”

The group hopes to return to Pittsburg in the future. They enjoyed the atmosphere the audience created.

“If you guys want us back, we will come back.” Ali Llacer, member of Uptown, said.

The group can be found online through social media where they post music videos of some of the songs they perform to and post about upcoming events.

“Make sure you guys follow us on social media on Instagram.” Llacer said. “Our Instagram is @uptown and our website is uptownofficial.com. We just posted some new YouTube video you can find there.”

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