Once again the Chene Park Amphitheater will feature a star-studded summer concert series for 2018. If you will be in Detroit, Michigan this summer, you definitely will want to catch one of these great shows.
The series will run from June 6th – August 29th. This is the Wednesday Jazzy Nights Series, so be prepared to get your mid-week party on!
Wednesday, June 6th – Will Downing/Mark Mixx & Tha Street Jazz Cartel
Kick off the series with legendary crooner Will Downing. His latest album, Soul Survivor, features I’m Feeling The Love and Hurry Up This Way Again.
Mark Mixx & Tha Street Jazz Cartel is a local act that is well known in the Detroit area.
Wednesday, June 13th – David Sanborn/Tim Bowman
Legendary Jazz musician David Sanborn is up next. He is a 6-time Grammy Award winner, and he has eight gold albums with one platinum album. Tim Bowman has one of the hottest Smooth Jazz albums out right now. It is called Into The Blue. Be sure to check out Amazing Grace Party and Boss.
Wednesday, June 20th – Jody Watley/Mike Phillips
She is not really a jazz artist, but Jody Watley is up there with the greats. Whether it is her time with Shalamar, or her solo efforts that won her the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1987, Watley has an extensive catalog to choose from. Check out songs from her album The Makeover, where she does jazzy versions of some classic songs, including Madonna‘s Borderline and Chic‘s I Want Your Love.
Mike Phillips is a revered sax player who was a part of all those great Hidden Beach Recordings.
Wednesday, June 27th – Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis is as versatile as they come. He can hit you with a top jazz album AND a top classical album. By the way, did you know he played the sax on Fight The Power by Public Enemy?
Wednesday, July 11th – Norman Brown/Bobby Caldwell
Man, what a pairing! Norman Brown is my favorite guitarist. He has those recognizable grooves, and he can also lay down those vocals. His latest album, Let It Go, features Chante Moore, Marion Meadows and Kirk Whalum.
What can you say about Bobby Caldwell? The legendary vocalist is still going strong, as he is constantly on tour. All Or Nothing At All, Even Now, and of course What You Won’t Do For Love are my favorites.
Wednesday, July 18th – Boney James/Sean Blackman
Boney James is the premier horn player in the game. Just listen to any of his albums and you will feel that signature style over smooth funky beats. His latest album, Honestly, features Tick Tock and Low & Slow.
Sean Blackman is actually from Detroit, and his style features ethnic music from around the world.
Wednesday, July 25th – Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington is a saxophonist and his style is considered more West Coast Jazz. He has released five albums, and he had played with a diverse crop of artists, including Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg, George Duke, and more.
Wednesday, August 1st – Peabo Bryson/Thornetta Davis
One of the smoothest crooners of all time, Peabo Bryson, will hit the stage and you know that he will perform all of the classics. I’m So Into You, Let The Feeling Flow, Show & Tell….the list goes on and on. Thornetta Davis is another Detroit product. She is affectionately called Detroit’s Queen Of The Blues.
Wednesday, August 8th – Damien Escobar/Project 313
Damien Escobar is a violinist, but not just ANY violinist. If you have never heard him play, then you are totally missing out. He lays it DOWN on both his original tracks and on the remakes. Check out his track, Get Up And Dance. Now, that’s what I am talking about!
Project 313 is the creative collaboration of Detroit based techno producers, Chad Parraghi and Nick Bien. This should be an eclectic night of dance music.
Wednesday, August 15th – Jean-Luc Ponty
Do you want some more violin? Well, Jean-Luc Ponty will bring his French Jazz violin to get the party going. With more than 35 album releases, he will definitely entertain you for the evening.
Wednesday, August 22nd – Stokley/Vivian Green
I mean, Stokley will be on stage. What more is there to say? In addition to the Mint Condition songs, he is building a solo catalog that is pretty impressive. We are still jamming his song with Tim Bowman, All I Need Is Love.
Singer/songwriter Vivian Green will also be on the bill. She got her start as a backup singer for Jill Scott, and she has since released six albums.
Wednesday, August 29th – Rachelle Ferrell
The concert season will conclude with the songstress, Rachelle Ferrell. She does it all: R&B, Gospel, Contemporary Jazz and Classical. I am sure she will have a top-level performance for those lucky enough to be in the audience.