Things to do around Ann Arbor this week (March 21-28)


Rock star physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson – and an audience member with really, really red hair – during his last visit to Detroit.

TUESDAY: The Fukushima Tribute Concert, featuring Yamakiya Taiko Ensemble. The U-M Center for World Performance Studies presents a performance by this Fukushima (Japan) ensemble of young drummers ages 12-21, which has managed to stay together even though its members were scattered into exile after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters. Opening act is the Novi-based Raion Taiko & the Great Lakes Taiko Center Drummers. Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher in Ann Arbor. Free.

TUESDAY: Science on Screen at the Michigan Theater. Series of film screenings followed by talks by U-M science professors and area scientists. This week, “Erin Brockovich” (Steven Soderburgh, 2000) takes the screen, and frankly, while hearings about Flint’s water crisis continue, there couldn’t be a better time to re-visit this acclaimed drama about a research assistant who helps a lawyer sue a large utility company that’s blamed for causing a small community’s cancer epidemic. Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her starring role. After the film, Columbia University public health professor David Rosner will speak on the issues of industrial pollution and toxicity. Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets: $10 (children under 12, students with ID, seniors age 55 & older, & U.S. veterans, $8; MTF members, $7.50), available at the door, or in advance at

WEDNESDAY: An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson. There are only a handful of tickets left for this presentation by well-known astrophysicist (and my secret boyfriend) Tyson, who hosted the hit TV series re-boot of “Cosmos.” Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University in Ann Arbor. For the few seats that are still available, tickets cost $100-$225 (steep, no?), available at

SATURDAY: Benny Green Trio at Kerrytown Concert House. Swinging hard-bop jazz by this trio from California, led by acclaimed pianist Green, a former member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Ray Brown Trio. With bassist David Wong and drummer Rodney Green. Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. at KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $20-$35 (students, $10), and reservations recommended. Visit or call 734-769-2999.

SATURDAY: UMS presents Gil Shaham: Bach Six Solos. Violin virtuoso Gil Shaham, who’s been compared to Itzhak Perlman (for whom he filled in on short notice with the London Symphony Orchestra when he was just 18), performs Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas-called “the Mount Everest of the violin repertoire.” The music is set to original videos by David Michalek, an artist best known for his Slow Dancing video installation at Lincoln Center. Saturday at 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University in Ann Arbor. Tickets $12-$60 in advance at and 734-764-2538.

SATURDAY: The Subdudes at The Ark. Roots-rock band from New Orleans whose gospel-flavored vocal harmonies, limber rhythmic verve, and blues- and country-inspired lyrical sensibility often provoke comparisons to Little Feat and the Band. Led by the songwriting duo of guitarist Tommy Malone and accordionist John Magnie, the band returns to the Ark for the 1st time in nearly 4 years with its complete original lineup. Saturday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $32, available in advance at,, and 734-763-TKTS.

SATURDAY: Prism Quartet at Northside Community Church. Founded in 1984 by local sax virtuoso and U-M saxophone professor Donald Sinta, this quartet of U-M alums performs progressive saxophone music. The New York Times calls the group “mellifluous and stylistically versatile.” Members are Matthew Levy, Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, and Zachary Shemon. The program is highlighted by the world premiere of Schumann Bouquet, local Pulitzer-winning composer William Bolcom’s arrangement of 6 Schumann Lieder. Prism is joined by saxophonists Diego Rivera and Andrew Bishop for performances of Chris Potter’s Improvisations, Dave Liebman’s arrangement of Coltrane’s Dear Lord, and Prism member Levy’s Found. Also, Steve Lehman’s 15 Places at the Same Time, and David Laganella’s Leafless Trees. Saturday at 8 p.m. at Northside Community Church, 929 Barton in Ann Arbor. Advance tickets cost $22 (students, $17), available in advance at; at the door, tickets cost $25.

MONDAY (March 28): Scott Ellsworth reads from ”The Secret Game” at Literati Bookstore. U-M Afroamerican and African studies lecturer Scott Ellsworth will discuss his bestselling study of sports and race in 1940s America, which not only recently won the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting, but was also recently optioned by Legendary Pictures to be made into a film. The book tells of a secret, racially integrated game between the unbeaten basketball teams from North Carolina College and Duke in 1944. Monday, March 28th at 7 p.m. at Literati, 124 E. Washington in Ann Arbor. Free.


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