Levitt AMP Ocala 2019 Backstage Pass: PJ Morton

PJ Morton might be best known as the keyboardist in Maroon 5, but that’s just one of his roles. In addition to a gig with one of the world’s most popular bands, New Orleans native Morton has built a lengthy discography of solo albums and collaborations. His impact across R&B and pop is PJ Morton By Keith Taylor promo photo for levitt amp ocala 2019apparent, in his credentials as record producer and quality of work. His voice is smooth and timeless, reminiscent of Motown greats. His lyrical message is modern and relatable.

He has received nine Grammy nominations for his own compositions, including a Best R&B Album bow for his 2019 “Gumbo Unplugged” and a Best Traditional R&B Performance Grammy win for his cover of the Bee Gees “How Deep Is Your Love.”

“Gumbo Unplugged” is a revitalization of the original studio recording of “Gumbo” and features a 22-piece ensemble.

Morton was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert where he showcased his diverse talent as a singer, keyboardist, songwriter and performer with the assistance of a 10-piece string band, a unique set-up given the space—or lack thereof—at NPR’s headquarters. 

Morton’s most notable collaborations include works with India.Arie, Solange, YEBBA, Stevie Wonder, JoiStaRR, and recently, a duet (“Say So”) with pop artist JoJo.

It is obvious Morton plays by his own beat and that he’s retained his sense of self despite considerable exposure within the pop music scene. In “Claustrophobic,” Morton tenderly and boldly sings about how record industry reps wanted him to change so he could get radio play: “PJ, you’re not mainstream enough, would you consider us changing some stuff or like everything about who you are…no offense we’re just trying to make you a star…but, I must admit, I’m claustrophobic, I have a hard time trying to fit into your small mind and I have a habit of dreaming bigger than anything I can see right in front of me.

This Friday, PJ Morton will headline the Levitt AMP stage at MLK Webb Field. 

Mwiza will open the show at 6 pm.

What is Levitt AMP Ocala?

Presented by the City of Ocala in partnership with The Marion Cultural Alliance, the Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series brings free concerts to the Martin Luther King Jr Recreational Complex’s Webb Field every Friday now through August 2. Each event will also feature food trucks and vendors, craft and nonprofit booths, and beer and wine for sale. The Summer Break Spot will provide free dinners for those 18 and under in attendance, and each concert spotlights a local nonprofit organization.

Series sponsors include: Levitt Foundation, Marion Cultural Alliance, 98.5 KTK, TriEagle Sales, Island Grove Wine Company, The Mojo Grill & Catering, Kona Ice Ocala, David and Lisa Midgett Foundation, Ocala/Marion County, Florida, Summer BreakSpot Program, and Ocala Electric Utility. Production by Oniram Productions, Inc.

The Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series is supported in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private foundation that empowers towns and cities across America to transform underused public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music. www.concerts.levittamp/ocala.

If You Go:

Concerts are held at Webb Field, Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex, 1510 NW Fourth St., Ocala.

Gates open at 6pm.

Be sure to bring outdoor chairs or blankets for comfortable seating.

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