DEARBORN – Against the backdrop of today’s political climate of fear and division, Detroit’s Concert of Colors – now in its 26th year – redoubles its effort to unite through the power of music.
Spotlighting vulnerable communities, state violence, trauma and healing, this year’s diversity-themed music festival produced by the Arab American National Museum takes place July 11 to 15 at venues throughout Midtown Detroit and at AANM.
Detroit musical son Don Was is working on his 11th Detroit All-Star Revue, curating classic and contemporary artists befitting the theme Detroit Rocks! for his 8 p.m. July 14 show.
Inspired by Concert of Colors, city leaders in Jackson are launching a sister event, the Jackson Unity Festival, also taking place July 11 to 15 and also featuring the 11th Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue and other 2018 Concert of Colors artists.
“The Jackson Unity Festival was born out of a desire to bring world-class music, arts and thinking from around the world to downtown Jackson,” Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies said. “As a sister festival of the Concert of Colors in Detroit, Jackson Unity Festival becomes a conduit for our city to take an active role in understanding every individual’s importance. We are proud to live in Jackson and we are proud to be a part of this event.”
Concert of Colors has the whole world in its bands. Produced by the AANM with its partners — Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, ACCESS, Third Man Records, Michigan Science Center, Build Institute, University of Michigan-Detroit Center, Detroit Historical Museum, The Scarab Club and Made Metro Collective — Concert of Colors is a highly anticipated and popular summer event and one of few remaining free-admission music festivals in the city.
Just as with Concert of Colors, the Jackson Unity Festival is a partnership among the Jackson Downtown Development Authority, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Theatre of Jackson. It will take place at four venues throughout downtown Jackson, featuring international performers as well as those from the Jackson area.
Learn more at www.jacksonunityfestival.org.
“We’re so impressed with the way leaders in Jackson have embraced this festival and the way it speaks to the questions of today, especially diversity,” said Ismael Ahmed, who with New Detroit Inc. cofounded Concert of Colors in 1993 while he was leader of Dearborn human services agency ACCESS. “The Jackson Unity Festival team is already a vital part of the Concert of Colors working group, and we will share many of the same acts.”
Concert of Colors sponsors include the Knight Foundation Fund and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The festival also welcomes back longtime Main Stage sponsor Meijer and longtime Diversity Stage sponsor Comerica.
The complete 2018 Concert of Colors lineup and performance schedule is available at www.concertofcolors.com.
All performances and the Forum on Community, Culture & Race are free and open to the public.
26th Concert of Colors
• Third Man Records, 441 W. Canfield Street, Detroit.
• Forum on Community, Culture & Race at Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; theme TBA
• Detroit Film Theater at Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
• Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
• Michigan Science Center, 5020 John R St., Detroit
• After-party at Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
• Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
• University of Michigan – Detroit Center, 3663 Woodward Ave. (outdoor stage)
• DFT @ Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit