Thursday, July 14, 2016

Arab American National Museum: The Annex @ AANM
13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI, 48126

forum-176:30-8:30 p.m. Forum on Community, Culture & Race
Artists Speak: Water is Life

This year’s Forum creates an interactive setting for attendees to dialogue on arts activism in metro Detroit as it relates to water as a basic need and human right. This event highlights the grassroots efforts being forged by community activists using art in innovative ways to share stories of how water has impacted communities locally, nationally and internationally. Performances and presentations are included; complimentary light refreshments will be available.

FREE; RSVP requested HERE

To read more about the presenters and performers click HERE

Friday, July 15, 2016 (three venues, indoors + outdoors)

 

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (outdoors on the Museum campus)
315 E. Warren Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Doors 6 p.m.
Food + drink $

Untitled-8-018:30 p.m. Brown Rice Family (world/roots)

Based in Brooklyn, Brown Rice Family members hail from Japan, Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria, South Africa and the U.S.A., so they are well aware that brown rice nourishes much of the world. Their world roots music, drawn from old and new traditions, nourishes your ears, your mind and your dancing desires. “Before you believe in anything, make sure you believe in yourself,” the group declares in reclaiming the roots consciousness of early reggae. BRF takes an organic approach to living and music, promoting global solidarity, natural living and world peace. The even make their own BRF soap. But mostly they make high energy music that encompasses hip hop, Brazilian, Afrobeat, funk, ska and other directions of the African diaspora.

“One of New York’s most consistently fun jam bands” – New York Music Daily

Video

Recording: Havana to Kingston (BRF Record Group, 2015)

Untitled-8-028 p.m. Spoken Word with Joel Fluent Greene, Ajanae Dawkins, Caesar Torreano & Phoenix Eagle (poetry)

Joel Fluent Greene is a Detroit-based poet, author and event coordinator. He’s the host and organizer of this reading. Greene was the longest running host of the iconic Café Mahogany poetry nights. He has held workshops and performed in more than 50 metro area schools, not to mention having shared the stage with the likes of The Roots, Pharrell and Jessica Care Moore. Greene produces the monthly event Mahogany @ the Museum at the Charles H. Wright Museum, The featured readers include poet and performance artist Ajanae Dawkins, who uses her art to “explore God, love, trauma, and identity”; Caesar Torreano, a spoken word artist from Detroit who eats and breathes poetry; and Phoenix Eagle, a member of the Freshwater Wordsmith 2015 Poetry Slam Team.

Video

Untitled-8-03 7 p.m. Warrior’s Rhythm featuring Mike Ellison (Afroflow)

Mike Ellison, aka Mike-E, is a hip-hop and spoken-word recording artist, songwriter, producer and actor. Born in Ethiopia to American parents, Mike-E was raised in the U.S. and achieved his creative flowering in Detroit. AfroFlow — flowing from Africa — is his vehicle in recognition of hip hop’s indigenous roots. Mike-E’s music defies categorization, seamlessly integrating contemporary and classical sensibilities with traditional influences into a unique and personal idiom. Mike E is joined by Master percussionist Chinelo Amen-Ra, born into the Ngoma Za, Amen-Ra New African Cultural Dance Theater family, has been performing since age two, Also, Rain Man Gaston, an exciting, dynamic drummer who commands the stage. Mike E displays a genuine love of music and a passion underlying his message.

“Mike-E is a spoken word and hip hop artist that has been captivating the nation with his mesmerizing lyrics and powerful performances.”
– sonicbids.com

Video

Recording: Flytanium (2015)

Detroit Institute of Arts (Indoors, outdoors)
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Doors 5 p.m. for music on East Lawn
Doors 8:30 p.m. for film at Detroit Film Theatre
Food + Drink $

Untitled-8-05

9:30 p.m. Film: Finding Fela (Dir: Alex Gibney; USA, 2014) in the Detroit Film Theatre 

No individual better embodies African music of the 1970s and ’80s – and its pivotal role in postcolonial political activism – than Fela Kuti. Taking his native Nigeria by storm, the pioneering musician’s Afrobeat sound merged American R&B and funk with Nigerian and Ghanaian traditions to create a new sound to support Fela’s anti-establishment credo. The sound spread around the world and made and enemy of the repressive Nigerian military regime. Because of persecution and other factors, Kuti’s final years in the 1990s saw his musical output and influence wane; in this past decade, however, a resurgence of interest in his work culminated in the Broadway hit Fela! In this exuberant documentary, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney interweaves the play’s staging with interviews and performances to recapture the essence of the man, his music, and his enduring cultural and political relevance.

“An absorbing if not quite definitive patchwork of the life and legacy of an unorthodox artist” – Hollywood Reporter

Trailer

Untitled-8-046 p.m. Dos Santos Cumbia Dance Party (Mexican Cumbian) East Lawn (along John R St.)

Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta is a Chicago-based jam band made up of musicians from the jazz, R&B, Mexican folk, punk, and salsa world. They specialize in Mexican cumbia. The band was named one of the most prominent artists at South By Southwest in 2015 and was voted Chicago’s Best Emerging Artist of 2015 by the Deli Magazine’s Readers Poll. Cumbia dancing and music began as a courtship tradition among the African-descended people of Latin America. It later evolved with Native American and European instruments and dance steps to create numerous variations from Mexico to Columbia. Detroit dance instructors will introduce audience members to the rhythm and movements of the cumbia. This is an all-ages event, and beginners are definitely welcome!

“It seems only a matter of time before the combo becomes a key player on the country’s world-music circuit” – Chicago Reader

Video

Recording: Dos Santos (2015)

 

Scarab Club
217 Farnsworth St.
Detroit, MI 48202
Doors 8:30
Soft drinks $

photos-069:30 p.m. Planet D Nonet (African Township jazz)

The Planet D Nonet is a down and dirty little band from Detroit that plays of range of music from the classic swing of Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson and Count Basie as well as the more space age jazz of Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders, not to mention their forays into South African township jazz. This program features their township focus with the music of Abdullah Ibrahim, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath and other townships artists. Founded by drummer R.J. Spangler and trumpeter James O’Donnell in 2007, PD9’s most recent Detroit Music Award is recognition as 2016 Outstanding Traditional Jazz Artist or Group. With the way PD9 can transition from sound to sound, it’s always a question of which tradition they are mining.

“Planet D plays swing-alicious jazz, booty-shaking big band, funk-atrocious fusion and some tribal-y tunes. And everything served Detroit-flavored.” – AXS.com

Video

Recording: Live at the Scarab Club for Concert of Colors (2015, Eastlawn Records)

Saturday, July 16, 2016 (three venues; indoors + outdoors)

 

Detroit Institute of Arts (Indoors, outdoors)
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Doors 9 p.m.
Food + Drink $

CoC webpage photos-079:30 p.m.  Afro-Dixie Remix Listening Party (spiritual, blues, gospel, jazz, funk, calypso, samba, soul, R&B, house, hip hop) in the Detroit Film Theatre

 

Stephen Foster’s Dixie became a de facto anthem of the Confederacy, and along with the Confederate battle flag, a voice for the heritage of the Old South. Today the song is considered offensive by many, conjuring up the racist Jim Crow system. Multimedia artist John Sims chose to confront Dixie subversively through reforming and remixing the song through multiple genres of African American music, in addition to visually appropriating the image of the battle flag in red, black and green – the colors of the pan African flag. Sims’ creative resistance features Dixie recordings as spiritual, jazz, funk, calypso, samba, soul, R&B, Hip hop, blues and more. The Detroit listening party advances the experience with collaborations from Detroit-area writers and musicians in the mix.

Video

Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (two indoor stages, one outdoor stage)
3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Doors 1 p.m.

1-9 p.m. Build Bazaar vendors inside Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
1-9 p.m Growth Center vendors on Parsons Street
1-9 p.m Food truck rally outdoors and indoor food vendors
Noon-10 p.m. Biergarten and BBQ on Parsons Street
1-7 p.m. DIA AWAY display on Parsons Street
1-8 p.m. Arts & Scraps kids activities on Parsons Street
Noon-9 p.m. Theatre Bizarre carnival games on Parsons Street

 

MEIJER MAIN STAGE (ORCHESTRA HALL)

CoC webpage photos-088 p.m.  9th Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue: Detroit’s 100 Greatest Songs Showcase

Three-time Grammy Award winner Don Was returns for his 9th Detroit All-Star Revue. Born in Detroit and raised in Oak Park, was played bass and led the 1980s funk rock group Was (Not Was) through four albums and several hit records. Was went on to produce Grammy-winning albums for Bonnie Raitt and Ziggy Marley in addition to producing albums for the Rolling Stones, Khaled, Bob Seger and many others. Was served as music director or consultant for many films, and in 2014 garnered an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction for the CBS television special The Beatles: The Night They Changed America. Was is president of the great jazz music label Blue Note Records and a board member at DIME: Detroit Institute of Music Education. The Detroit All-Star Revue represents Was’ commitment to the music scene in his home town. This ninth Revue is a tribute to the 10 greatest songs in Detroit history as voted by readers of the Detroit Free Press. Detroit’s 10 greatest will be revealed the night of the show and simultaneously online at www.freepress.com.

“There’s tremendous breadth to what’s going on with the music in Detroit.” – Don Was in Billboard magazine

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE DON WAS REVUE  AND THIS YEAR’S PERFORMERS

Video interview with Don Was

Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue video channel

CoC webpage photos-095:30 p.m.  King Sunny Ade (Nigerian Juju)

King Sunny Ade is the greatest living African musician. A band leader, guitarist, singer and composer, Ade has been listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Musicians of All Time and he stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Fela Kuti and Hugh Masekela as world masters of modern African music. Ade is a music innovator who brought the pedal steel guitar and clavinet to Nigerian music while maintaining traditional formats. He also incorporated the wah wah effect and created a wall of sound with several electric guitars harmonizing in his compositions. He has influenced the like of the Talking Heads and King Crimson, and collaborated with Manu Dibango and Stevie Wonder. The African Beats, Ade’s touring band, is a 17-musician outfit with five dancers who keep the energy surging onstage. This orchestral Afropop percolates with the rubbery talking drum creating a powerful undertow for melodies that float over the rhythms and harmonize with Ade’s elegant and soothing voice.

“One of the world’s great band leaders” – The New York Times

Video

Recording: Divine Shield (Master Disk)

CoC webpage photos-103 p.m.  Yuna (Malaysian pop)

Everybody with ears should have a crush on Yuna Zarai, the Malaysian native singer with the entrancing voice. Yuna’s lyrics have the soul of a singer-songwriter delivered in a dance-floor format. The song “Crush,” the lead single of her new album featuring Usher, is a light and delightful paen to the first moments of love. The hijabi Muslimah is an atypical pop star who learned to sing in English by listening to her parents’ Beatles records, in addition to Fiona Apple and Lauryn Hill. Her transcultural vibe is a natural outgrowth of the music she grew up with. A feat she has achieved again and again in spreading her genre-bending music around the world. Yuna is one of five singers chosen to perform the 2016 Olympics promotional song.

“She’s going to change the game, not just musically but culturally…” – Indie-Pop CEO Ben Willis

Video

Recording: Chapters (2016, Verve)

COMERICA DIVERSITY STAGE (THE MUSIC BOX)

CoC webpage photos-119:30 p.m. Palenke Soultribe (Afro-Columbian electronic)

Energetic Afro-Columbian rhythms blend with modern beats and synthesizer excursions in the entrancing music of Palenke Soultribe. Based in Los Angeles, PST is known for its energetic shows has carved out a unique soundspace a competitive Latin music scene with its forays through a fantastic electronic jungle. Always pushing the conceptual envelope, PST has played festival across the Americas over the past six years. The mix of live instruments with the electronic sounds is crucial in maintaining the organic base of this completely unique music. The music constantly approaches and distances itself from tradition and modernism in a tense push and pull. They call it folkloric deconstruction. Or to put it more simply, as one of their songs cries out, “Oh Mama!”

“You’ll be on the dance floor, clamoring for more” — brightestyoungthings.com

Video

Recording: The Best of Palenke Soultribe 2009-2015 (2016)

Untitled-8-017 p.m. Brown Rice Family (world/roots)

Based in Brooklyn, Brown Rice Family members hail from Japan, Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria, South Africa and the U.S.A., so they are well aware that brown rice nourishes much of the world. Their world roots music, drawn from old and new traditions, nourishes your ears, your mind and your dancing desires. “Before you believe in anything, make sure you believe in yourself,” the group declares in reclaiming the roots consciousness of early reggae. BRF takes an organic approach to living and music, promoting global solidarity, natural living and world peace. The even make their own BRF soap. But mostly they make high energy music that encompasses hip hop, Brazilian, Afrobeat, funk, ska and other directions of the African diaspora.

“One of New York’s most consistently fun jam bands” – New York Music Daily

Video

Recording: Havana to Kingston (BRF Record Group, 2015)

CoC webpage photos-127 p.m. Alsarah & The Nubatones (East-African retro pop)

Alsarah was born in the Sudan and moved to the United States with her family at age 12. In a cultural sense the vocalist never left her homeland behind, and she found her artistic purpose through singing in her native Arabic. These songs express remembrance and nostalgia particularly by those who have been displaced. The “song of return” she sings are cultural expressions of remembrance and nostalgia for lost lands, particularly those of Egyptian Nubians displaced by the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. The Nubatones play traditional East African instruments blended with some modern sounds. The oud often mimics the same lines that Alsarah sings creating a melodic drive that is both smooth and refreshing. She calls her music East African retro pop.

“The new princess of Nubian pop and Sudanese retro…” – The Guardian

Video

Recording: Silt (Wonderwheel Recordings, 2014)

CoC webpage photos-132 p.m. Fred Penner (children’s folk)

Canadian-born Fred Penner has a simple, yet powerful message: “Never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the life of a child.” He is a children’s music icon who has performed throughout North America — transforming children’s music into a family affair. His performances of songs such as “The Cat Came Back” and “Sandwiches” are loved by music fans of all ages. The half-hour show Fred Penner’s Place aired on CBC-TV from 1985-97 and on the Nickelodeon cable network from 1989-92. He has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for “using music and song to entertain and educate his young audience.”

“Not only did I get to relive parts of my childhood, but got to share it with my nephew…”
–rocktographers.com

Video

Recording: Where In the World (2014)

WOLVERINE OUTDOOR STAGE (Sosnick Court, behind Orchestra Place bldg.)

CoC webpage photos-147:30 p.m. Mama Sol & Tha N.U.T.S. (hip-hop/neo-soul)

Mama Sol is an explosive emcee, hip hop artist, inspirational speaker and spoken word spitter. A breast cancer survivor, Sol spreads a positive message through her lyrics and spoken word forays. She’s opened for or shared the stage with artists such as Destiny’s Child, Cee-lo, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Rakim, George Clinton, and Kindred Family Soul.  She’s actually freestyled on Woodward with Mos Def. A resident of Flint, Sol’s “Hard to Swallow” expresses the frustrations of residents in dealing with the water crisis. The N.U.T.S. (New Under the Sun), her band, provide beats and a soundscape that propels the message to memorable heights. Sol believes it is her obligation to inspire others, especially today’s youth, with a soulful voice and a conscious vibration.

“Mama Sol fuses lyrics with substance with a style that sounds great to your ears” – Club937.com

Video

Recording:  Inside Out (2014)

CoC webpage photos-156 p.m. Britney Stoney (neo-soul)

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Britney Stoney began her performance career with a deep desire to sing and the opportunity at open mic events across Detroit. She’s since expanded her musical career to include festivals and even opening for Ziggy Marley. A native Detroiter, Stoney is a 2014 Kresge Arts Fellow and aspires to be a role model for emerging artists.  “I feel like I can do anything because of that support from Detroit, because it’s such a real place,” she told Michigan Radio. “Like if Detroit has my back, I could go anywhere and do this.” Stoney calls her music electronic soul, and ranges from folkish paens to rubbery grooves and deep soul.

“A breathtaking vocalist and guitarist fusing alternative folk and soul-pop” – Deep Kutz Music

Video

Recording: Native (2015)

CoC webpage photos-164:30 p.m. Tahnz and The Filthy Animals (jazz/rock/blues)

Formed just last year, Tahnz &the Filthy Animals have been gigging so hard they leave a trail of filth everywhere they go — reportedly leaving an inch of dirt on the stage at PJ’s Lager House after their show there. Fronted by angel-voiced vocalist Tahnz, the Filthy Animals play neo-soul tinged with jazz, rock and blues as they experiment with the vast spectrum of music at their fingertips. The Filthy Animals are Brad Frey and Adam Cross on guitars, Jheremie Jacque on bass, and Justin Pullin on drums. They may be filthy but they overcome. As their song says, “You couldn’t even imagine what’s bothering me; somehow I pull myself up from underneath.”

Listen

Recording: Swimming (2016)

CoC webpage photos-173 p.m. Casual Sweetheart (indie pop)

All charm and rough around the edges, the ladies of Casual Sweetheart harken back to the indie rock days of the 1990s when it was a spirit that embodied the underground music scene and didn’t appear on movie soundtracks. Drummer Dina Bankole, guitarist Ering Norris and bassist Lauren share vocals and portray an in your face sensibility. “I, I, I got something to say” they declare on “Crash Your Party.” This is straightforward, unpretentious music from a bunch that can crash any party they want.

“This might be one of the best recombinant garage-punk acts since Grass Window or La Luz…” – Metro Times

Video

Recording: Always/Never (2015)

CoC webpage photos-181:30 p.m. The Sun Drummers (African drums)

The Sun Drummers is an all-star team of African drumming and dancing in the metro Detroit area.  Each artist is a powerhouse in the African performance community with their own spark that comes together in a powerful fusion that explodes like the sun.  By walking in their footsteps of their ancestors —  such as Kamal Amen Ra and King Sundiata Keita — the Sun Drummers bring African drum and dance into a new age. Chinelo “Chi” Amen-Ra, Ayinde Anada, Sowande Keita, Marwan Amen-Ra, Maulana Tolbert and Imani Jamal govern the beats as the Omowale African Dancers, the Bese Saka Cultural Dancers and the Ngoma Za Amen-Ra Dancers add flair and splendor to the program. Sun Drummers members have played with or opened for the likes of Stevie Wonder, John Legend, India Arie, Third World and Kem.

Video

CoC webpage photos-1912 p.m. (noon) Roots Vibrations (reggae)

Roots Vibrations’ sound is uplifting and fun, featuring creative and seasoned musicians from some of the many Caribbean islands. Founder and lead singer Winfred Julien, from Dominica, West Indies, has been a driving force in the regional Caribbean and Reggae scene, leading the group to five Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding Reggae Band, most recently in 2013 with their positive roots music. “My philosophy is ensuring a great performance by each member of the band. The show stays interesting by playing a mix of original and familiar music in a variety of Caribbean styles. The awards we receive and the response we get is because the audience is our focus,” says Julien.

“ … mixing up the evolving the sounds of the Caribbean — from reggae to zouk — for two decades…”
Metro Times

Video

Recording: Detroit Live Sessions (2014)

Sunday, July 17, 2016 (two venues; indoors + outdoors)

 

Detroit Institute of Arts (Rivera Court)
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Doors 6:30 p.m.
Food + Drink $

CoC webpage photos-207:30 p.m. Astrid Hadad (Mexican cabaret) in the Rivera Court

Mexican artist, vocalist and cabaret star Astrid Hadad has been described by The New York Times as “one of the most provocative stage acts since the Weimar Republic was in bloom.” This enigmatic cabaret performer is also an historian, social critic and activist, whose unconventional vocal and visual performance style is filled with music dubbed ‘Heavy Nopal’ (after the cactus), combining ranchero, bolero, rumba and rock, and featuring extravagant costumes, rather like portable sets, which are a hallmark of her performances. This Mexican cultural icon has inherited a uniquely Mexican female surrealism and created her own that pulses with campy humor and irony.

“A spectacle that stopped people in their tracks” – National Public Radio

Video

Recording: Vivir Muriendo (2013)

Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Doors 1 p.m.

1-9 p.m. Build Bazaar vendors inside Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
1-9 p.m Growth Center vendors on Parsons Street
1-9 p.m Food truck rally outdoors and indoor food vendors
Noon-10 p.m. Biergarten and BBQ on Parsons Street
1-7 p.m. DIA AWAY display on Parsons Street
1-8 p.m. Arts & Scraps kids activities on Parsons Street
Noon-9 p.m. Theatre Bizarre carnival games on Parsons Street

 

Meijer Main Stage at Orchestra Hall

CoC webpage photos-218 p.m. Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra (Latin jazz)

Ten-time Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer, producer and bandleader Eddie Palmieri fuses the rhythms of his Puerto Rican ancestry to the jazz influences from his native New York. Known for unorthodox approaches to music, Palmieri first made his mark by replacing the customary trumpets with trombones in his Latin orchestra. In the ensuing years he surprised listeners by blending salsa with R&B, pop, rock, Spanish vocals, and jazz improvisation. This led to a new kind of music and a string of 10 Grammys and numerous other awards for musical achievement, including a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master award. He even set another precedent by becoming the first Latino to host a radio program on National Public Radio. Palmieri continues to compose, play and influence musicians throughout the world.

“One of the most celebrated pianists in American history…” – Red Bull Music Academy Daily

Video

Recording: Sabiduría / Wisdom (2014)

CoC webpage photos-22

5:30 p.m. The Mighty Sparrow (Calypso)

Trinidadian the Mighty Sparrow is the unrivaled Calypso King of the World – among the best known and most successful calypso performers of all time. He was born Slinger Francisco in a small fishing village in Grenada but moved to Trinidad as a small child. Sparrow emerged as the leading calypsonian at the age of 20, winning the Carnival Road March and Calypso King competitions in 1956. By 1958 he became the only calypsonian to have won three Road March Competitions, with songs that were known as witty, ironic and ribald. Sparrow has won a total of eight each Road March and Calypso King titles, and became an ambassador bringing the Trinidadian music around the world.  In 2014, Sparrow was given Trinidad and Tobago’s highest award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, for his contribution to culture.

“Slinger Francisco is generally regarded as the greatest exponent ever of the calypso/soca art form…” – Caribbeanbeat.com

Video

Recording: Supreme Serenader (1998, AR)

CoC webpage photos-233 p.m. Cibo Matto (Japanese rock duet)

Japanese expatriates Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori formed Cibo Matto, which means crazy food in Italian, in 1994. This New York-based band mostly sang about food in its early years, producing songs like Sugar Water and Know Your Chicken. They’ve attracted some top flight collaborators: Sean Lennon played bass and guitar in the band for five years; Yoko Ono performed with them in 2013, and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline appeared on their Hotel Valentine album. The band’s was one of the more colorful careers of the 1990s as listeners got a peek into the fantasy lives of Hatori and Honda.  Hotel Valentine was conceived of as a score for an invisible film with acid jazz, tropicalia and deep bass microhouse sounds spicing the mix.

“They’re still impossible to pin to a genre as they float between hip-hop, rock, and jazz, often in the same song.” – Consequenceofsound.net

Video

Recording: Hotel Valentine (2014)

COMERICA DIVERSITY STAGE (THE MUSIC BOX)

CoC webpage photos-249:30 p.m. Battle of Santiago (Afro-Cuban post rock)

The Battle of Santiago marries an electronic spirit with Afro-Cuban rhythms to create a post-rock sound that delights and surprises. Described by some as Radiohead meets Irakere, this band’s sound is rooted in a restless transnational experimentalism. Formerly an instrumental groove and micro melodic outfit, Battle of Santiago has added vocals to its lineup with a focus on Afro-Cuban chants. This band’s performance concept includes visual multimedia projections and audience extractions by artist-designer Patricio Davila to create a unique and entrancing audio-visual experience. Founded in 2011 by bassist Michael Owen, this Toronto-based outfit’s first two recordings have ridden atop Canadian college playlists from the start.

“An adventurous sound that switches directions at the drop of a hat…” – Splinters & Candy

Video

Recording: La Migra (Made With Pencil Crayons, 2016)

CoC webpage photos-257 p.m. Kiran Ahluwalia (Indian African fusion)

Kiran Ahluwalia is a Canadian vocalist who performs musical arrangements of traditional Persian and Punjabi poems. The music is seasoned with electric desert-blues guitar played by her husband Rez Abbasi above a foundation of tabla chatter, while Ahluwalia’s voice floats, darts and weaves through the music in classical fashion. Ahluwalia was born in India and moved to Canada at age eight. Later she studied music in India before returning to Canada and winning two Juno Awards for her music. Hers is an inventive approach that does not westernize the sound but fits the electric guitar into the Indian format. The arrangements use accordion to approximate the sound of harmonium and electric bass maintains the songs’ architecture.

“A heady hybrid of Indian grooves, Saharan Blues and Western jazz that delivers a blueprint for a borderless world…” – CBC Music

Video

Recording: Sanata: Stillness (ARC/Magenta, 2014)

CoC webpage photos-264:30 p.m. Howling Diablos (funky blues)

Blues and rock are musical kissin’ cousins and the Howling Diablos just might be guilty of incestuous musical explorations, along with their uncle funk who keeps things bouncing. The Howling Diablos’ jamming live shows are well known to Detroiters. Their song “Carwash” rides on a screaming Mississippi blues riff with a heavy Motor City bottom, yet still manages to find a hip hop attitude. Since forming in the 1990s the Diablos have toured with and opened for acts such as George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, Alice Cooper, Albert Collins, Ben Harper, Hank Williams Jr., Incubus and the James Gang.  Hey, Kid Rock has been known to jump onstage to sing with them. Attracting top guests is old hat to the Diablos; their latest record features Wayne Kramer and the original Vandellas.

“The songs are superb; stylish, funky R&B with Tino’s smooth voice and a lot of excellent musicians having a great time.” – Metro Times

Video

Recording: Return of the Funk Hand (Funky D Records, 2014)

CoC webpage photos-272 p.m. Detroit Arab American Sound Experience feat. Detroit Jammerz, Compact Deity and Mazaj (Arab American rock)

The Detroit Arab American Sound Experience showcases three local bands — Detroit Jammerz, Compact Deity and Mazaj – that are well rooted in the Detroit rock arena.   Each will play their own set and join the others for a grand jam to culminate the show. True to their name, Detroit Jammerz will play a free jam of intense hardcore music. The Jammerz have no songs or prearranged sets, they just get onstage and jam. Compact Deity, formed by guitarist Tarik Al-Kadhim, has been on the Motor City scene since 2006 playing guitar heavy sounds that have no fear of feedback and distortion. Mazaj lyrically travels the turbulent landscape of post 9/11 imigrants engaging themes of injustice, oppression, war and peace with an electric folk rock tinged with blues and world beats.

Compact Deity
Video
Recording:  Evil Eye (2011)

Mazaj
Video
Recording: Blue from a Green Zone (2011)

WOLVERINE OUTDOOR STAGE (SOSNICK COURT, BEHIND ORCHESTRA PLACE BLDG.)

CoC webpage photos-287:30 p.m. Sean Dobbins (jazz)

Jazz drummer Sean Dobbins got his start as sought-after Detroit area jazz sideman at a young age, when he would regularly play with Blue Note artist Louis Smith. He has gone on to play with an impressive list of jazz greats like Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whittaker, Barry Harris and many others. His sound can be described as hard driving with refreshing melodic sensibility. His Modern Jazz Messengers plays a straight ahead bop style though he often plays with his organ group creating a soulful, funky jazz sound similar to that of Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff. Dobbins teaches at Oakland University and his recently released record, Journey, is his first nationally distributed release as a leader.

“Over the years, Dobbins has matured into a great bandleader.” – Idigjazzblogspot.com

Video

Recording: Journey (Detroit Music Factory, 2015)

CoC webpage photos-296 p.m. Kevin Christian (R&B)

Kevin Christian is a keyboardist and singer originally from Detroit. Whether it’s behind the keys or on the dance floor – he teaches competitive hip hop dance to young people – Christian is a great performer. His debut single Heart Like This features vocals from Canton native Redi Choi, bassist Chevy Delorenzo from Long Island, guitarist Tim Knowlton (a Berklee College of Music graduate), and drummer Dan Stover from Ferndale.

Video

Recording: Heart Like This (Saint Eve Records, 2016)

CoC webpage photos-304:30 p.m. Tristen Brooke (acoustic rock)

Tristen Brooke’s energetic and percussive guitar playing accompanies a soulful voice. Her astounding talent and love of music grow from studying classical guitar, although flamenco, funk and rock have helped to mold her sound – and her string tapping techniques sets apart from other guitarists. Although a native Detroiter, Brooke began her performing career in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is a force in the vibrant music scene. With her band — Steve Sugarhill on guitar, Luis De Leon on percussion and Joe Easley on bass – Brooke has traversed the U.S.A. playing her funky gypsy rock at festivals and clubs.

“A wonderful presentation of jangly alt-country finesse with a punk rock attitude…” – Nocountryfornashville.com

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Recording: Tristen Brooke (2016)

CoC webpage photos-313 p.m. Blue Black Hours (heavy psychedelic)

There are a lot of words thrown around to describe Blue Black Hours’ music and most of them harken back to the late ‘60s and early ’70s when psychedelia was a new thing. They have been compared to the Doors, Black Sabbath, Tool and others. All of those influences are in this music but Blue Black Hours has a 21st Century grit to it. It’s in the heavier rhythms and the way the guitar lopes through it all – there’s a more muscular flex to it. Formed in 2005, these homeboys have had all kinds of influences tied to their music, but that’s because they never stay in the same bag for long.

“This is the kind of music you want playing while spacing out some evening on a bean bag in your pal’s semi-finished basement after a batch of…brownies and hours of Ren and Stimpy reruns.” – Detroit Underground Online Magazine

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Recording: Sunlight and Dust  (2014)

CoC webpage photos-321:30 p.m. Bomba con Buya (Afro Puerto Rican Bomba)

Chicago-based Bomba con Buya isn’t only keeping bomba music alive, the group takes the Afro Puerto Rican style to new heights. Buya is an ensemble using a traditional yet innovative approach to Bomba. Developed during the 18th century among the island’s African descendants, Bomba is Puerto Rico’s oldest surviving cultural formats as it is about the creative relationship between dancers, drummers and singers. Two years ago a Buya video taken while members played sand and danced on Chicago’s Blue Line train went viral around the world. Buya means “good spirit” in Taino, the language of the Island’s indigenous people. The members of Buya strive to embody this idea through high-impact performances and community-centered workshops. The ensemble celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2015, however several members of Bomba con Buya have been committed to studying and sharing the Bomba tradition for over 20 years.

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Recording: Buya Live (2015)

CoC webpage photos-3312 p.m. (noon) Iyawo Dance Theatre & Folkloric Women’s Vocal Ensemble (dance) feat. the Community Afro Cuban Dance and Drum Class

The Iyawo Dance Theatre is a professional youth dance company for teenagers. It was founded by choreographer-dancer Lisa McCall, a native Detroiter whose extensive career has included working with the likes of Clifford Fears and Katherine Dunham among others. McCall has also choreographed shows for Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Levert and others. The Folkloric Women’s Vocal Ensemble and Community AfroCuban Dance and Drum Class complete the circle of cultural performance.

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