South African musical superstar and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Masekela leads the list of headliners performing at the 15th annual Concert of Colors July 19-22 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave. in Detroit.
Masekela will also deliver a keynote address during the Concert of Colors’ 2nd annual Forum on Community, Culture & Race, an invitation-only event to be held Friday, July 20 at The Max as part of the annual free diversity music festival, which expanded to four days for this year.
Delivering more sizzling sets during the Concert of Colors will be New Orleans’ soulful roots rockers the Neville Brothers; the legendary Latin stylings of the Eddie Palmieri Salsa Band; British reggae sensation Steel Pulse; smart, quirky rockers They Might Be Giants; Michigan’s own quixotic Question Mark & The Mysterians; and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performing Hannibal Lokumbe’s Dear Mrs. Parks, a tribute to the civil rights legend Rosa Parks that opens the fest at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19.
Also included in the festivities are free public workshops to be conducted by Concert of Colors artists, as well as ethnic food booths, multi-cultural arts and crafts vendors, and a children’s activity area. A complete schedule and artist bios are available at www.concertofcolors.com. Information is also available by calling 313.624.0200.
The Concert of Colors comprises three distinct settings at The Max: the Main Stage in acoustically superb Orchestra Hall; the Diversity Stage in the intimate Music Box; and the Rhythm Stage, an outdoor venue set up on Parsons Street, which is closed to traffic. Performances inside the air-conditioned center ensure the show goes on, no matter the heat or precipitation served up by a Michigan summer.
All performances are free and open to the public; however, those willing to pay for prime Main Stage seating throughout the festival may opt to become a Concert of Colors “Groupie,” a limited opportunity that also includes private “meet the artist” receptions and a Groupie tee shirt. The Groupie program debuted in 2006 with resounding success. Individual Groupies pay $100; a Couple of Groupies is $150. Registration information is available at the Concert for Colors website.
The Concert of Colors is produced in partnership by ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services)/Arab American National Museum and New Detroit, Inc. and its Cultural Exchange Network, a consortium of 50 community-based organizations representing metro Detroit’s communities of color. New Detroit, Inc. and ACCESS established the event in 1993 at Chene Park on Detroit’s riverfront. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra hosted the 2005 opening night program and came on board fully in 2006 when its Max M. Fisher Music Center became the host venue.