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Doo Wop Project a musical journey in five-part harmony

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What do you get when enlist veterans from “Jersey Boys” and “Motown: The Musical?”

Answer: The Doo Wop Project.

Not to mention that the men all have a love of music and performing.

“Things are very good for us,” Sonny Paladino says during an interview from a recent stop in Butte, Mont. “We’ve been very busy performing across the country.”

Paladino is the music director of the group.

And the idea for the project started a few years ago.

The Doo Wop Project begins at the beginning, tracing the evolution of doo-wop from the classic sound of five guys singing harmonies on a street corner to the biggest hits on the radio today.

Throughout the show, Paladino says, the group takes audiences on a journey from foundational tunes of groups like the Crests, Belmonts and Flamingos through their influences on the sounds of Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, and the Four Seasons all the way to Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Amy Winehouse.

“Doo-wop is an older style of music, and people relate it to singing on the street corner. The way we’ve seen in movies,” he says. “What we challenge ourselves to do is take some contemporary songs and doo-wop-ify them. It gives the show a twist and helps bridge the generations.”

Paladino grew up listening to music – especially doo-wop.

In fact, his uncle was a member of Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge. The band is famous for the 1968 single “Worst That Could Happen.”

“This music is timeless,” he says. “I think it’s stayed around because of the tight harmonies. It resonates with everybody. You don’t have to know the name of singles, but as soon as you hear the first ‘doo-wop’ or ‘she-bop’ it seems familiar.”