The Concert of Colors is in full swing for the 2022 season. Founded by Ismael Ahmed of WDET (host of This Island Earth Saturdays 6-8pm), the festival has highlighted Detroit’s diverse cultural communities for the past 30 years . It’s – and always has been – free to attend, and there’s a wide variety of food, dancing and live music performances that started last weekend and will continue this Sunday. Many events are live and in person, while some are virtual and/or broadcast. The festival will span a range of venues from the DIA to the Wright Museum of African American History to the Michigan Science Center.
WDET will record and stream select performances on Sunday, July 31 and Sunday, August 7.
Here are some of our favorite upcoming events:
Screening of the film “Concert of Colours: University in Diversity” – After the 1967 Rebellion, Detroit, with its rich musical history, became a powerful engine of cultural renewal in the fight for diversity and equality. Music was an integral part of it all. “Concert of Colors: Unity in Diversity” is a retrospective film that celebrates 30 years of the Concert of Colors, all that has been achieved and all the work that remains to be done. A screening will take place on Wednesday, July 20 at the Detroit Film Theater Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free with online ticket registration.
The 15th Annual Don Was Detroit All-Star: Tribute to Iggy Pop – This year, the Don Was All-Star Revue will celebrate the music of Iggy Pop, who celebrated his 75th birthday on April 21. The All-Star band of drummers Ronald Pangborn and Ron Otis, guitarist Brian “Roscoe” White, keyboardist Luis Resto, saxophonist Dave McMurray and bass player Don Was will accompany Detroit singers Mick Collins, Steffanie Christi’an, Josie Pace, Don Duprie and Alison Lewis, Carolyn Striho and Scott Dailey, Steven Beggar and Nadir Omowale as they pay homage to the raw power and legacy of the godfather of punk’s solo work and as lead singer and lyricist of The Stooges, an explosive group that laid the foundation for everyone from the Sex Pistols to Nine Inch Nails. Iggy Pop’s creativity has manifested itself with acting roles and his own radio show, but his explosive music and boisterous stage presence are what have left indelible marks on musicians and fans alike for decades. . Detroit musicians and performers will honor Iggy’s legacy on the DIA lawn Saturday, July 23 beginning at 9 p.m.
Musical performance by Natu Camara – The Wright Museum continues its annual partnership with the Concert of Colors with a concert featuring Natu Camara on Thursday, July 21 at 5 p.m. If you merged Miriam Makeba with Nina Simone, added a dose of Tracy Chapman, and sprinkled in Tina Turner, you could begin to explain Natu Camara. A dynamic singer and songwriter whose West African heritage, charged performance style and passion for social justice have made her a unique presence in world music. Born in Ivory Coast and raised in Guinea, Natu’s devotion to music exploded with early success when she joined three friends to form West Africa’s first-ever female R&B/hip-hop group. , the Ideal Black Girls. Their debut album, Guinea mou monèra (“It’s not a shame to be a woman”) sold millions and was nominated for the 2002 best album in Guinea. And although she performs her songs in five languages, they do not need translation. Everyone feels the power of energy, and everyone speaks the language of the heart. Doors open at 4 p.m., show starts at 5 p.m.
Dakha Brakha musical show – DakhaBrakha is a world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Reflecting fundamental elements of sound and soul, Dakha Brakha means “give/take” in the ancient Ukrainian language. DakhaBrakha was created in 2004 at the Kyiv Center for Contemporary Art by avant-garde theater director Vladyslav Troitskyi. After experimenting with Ukrainian folk music, the band added rhythms from the surrounding world to their music, creating a bright and unforgettable sound and unlocking the potential of Ukrainian folk melodies to resonate with the present. Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian instrumentation, the quartet’s surprisingly powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a transnational sound rooted in Ukrainian culture. They will perform at the Detroit Film Theater Auditorium on Thursday, July 21 at 8 p.m. Participation is free with online ticket registration.
Nafada: Arab women in hip-hop – Detroit-based electronic/industrial group Nafada is a standout collaboration of some of Africa and the Middle East’s leading female hip-hop artists, including Medusa Tn (Tunisia), Soultana (Morocco) and Meryam Saci (Algeria). The result is a deliciously provocative experience, a balance between irrepressibly rhythmic lyricism and provocative politics. They will perform at the Detroit Film Theater Auditorium on Saturday, July 23 at 2 p.m. Participation is free with online ticket registration.
For the full lineup of events, visit concertofcolors.com.