Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: see Gregory Porter, fun ‘Raiders’ fan-film event and more


Michael Franti and Spearhead play an Ann Arbor Summer Festival main stage show this week.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival/Top of the Park is in full swing, with free outdoor concerts, retreats and more happening at Ingalls Mall every night but Monday, starting at 5 (and on Sundays, and Tuesdays-Thursdays, movies under the stars at dusk).

Plus, lots of theater productions continue their runs this week: “Morning’s at Seven” at Chelsea’s Purple Rose Theatre; “Spin” at Ann Arbor’s Theatre Nova; “Assassins” at the Dexter’s Encore Theatre; Penny Seats Theatre Company’s “Canterbury Tales” at West Park; and Shakespeare in the Arb finishes its run of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” this weekend. But if you’re STILL looking for more great options, check out what else is happening.

UMS Choral Union’s 23rd Annual Summer Sings. All singers welcome to join this venerable local chorus for read-throughs of favorite choral works. Participants practice the more difficult parts of each night’s piece and, after a break, sing it in its entirety, with regional professionals singing the solos. No auditions required; music provided (or bring your own, if you have it). Refreshments. This time, University of Georgia choral activities director Daniel Bara conducts Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Monday 7-9:30 p.m. at U-M Walgreen Drama Center’s Stamps Auditorium, 1226 Murfin in Ann Arbor. $5 at the door only. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.

72nd Annual Manchester Community Fair. June 21-25. Midway rides, carnival games, concessions, tractor pulls, a rodeo (June 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m.), an opening parade (June 21, 6:30 p.m.), livestock shows, live music by Dexter country-rock singer-songwriter KayLyn Pace (June 21, 7:30 p.m.), and more. For complete schedule, see Tuesday from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. (June 21; rides open at 5 p.m.), Wednesday from 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (June 22; rides open at 3 p.m.), Thursday from 1:30-10 p.m. (June 23; rides open at 3 p.m.), Friday, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. (June 24; rides open at 1 p.m.), and Saturday, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. At Alumni Memorial Field, at Vernon and Wolverine in Manchester. $18 ride wristbands available.

A2SF MainStage shows. On Tuesday night you can see Michael Franti – a longtime reggae-pop singer-songwriter and rapper who performs with his band, Spearhead. Known for various humanitarian and political musical projects, Franti blends hip-hop with other styles, such as reggae and funk, and his lyrics often promote peace and social justice. Opening act is Chicago-born rapper Chali 2na, with the Vancouver electronic dance band The Funk Hunters. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium. Tickets cost $31-$46.

On Wednesday night, you can see Gregory Porter. This Brooklyn-based vocalist, hailed by NPR as “the next great male jazz singer,” performs jazz, R&B, and gospel. His 2013 album Liquid Spirit won the 2014 Grammy for “Best Vocal Jazz Album” and was a crossover pop success. A Pop Matters review calls him “a killer talent” who has a “baritone with a soulful texture and a flexibly athletic control.” Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets cost $38-$48.

On Sunday, check out Cubanismo, a scorching, 15-piece Cuban jazz orchestra led by the world-famous Sierra Madre trumpeter and bandleader Jesus Alemañy. Neither a vintage band from the days of Cuba’s musical isolation nor a modern band infused with outside influences like hip-hop and salsa, Cubanismo presents traditional Afrocuban rhythms free from nostalgia but rich with a fiery zest that’s unbeatable for dancing. Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets cost $30 & $35.

Tickets for all three shows are available in advance at and 734-764-2538.

Ann Arbor Jaycees’ 65th Annual Summer Carnival. Carnival games and rides, plus concessions. Wednesday and Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Pioneer High School parking lot, 601 W. Stadium at S. Main. Free admission (small charge for individual game & ride tickets; armbands available for $22 and $25).

“Detroit Hustle” event at Literati Bookstore. MSU journalism professor Amy Haimerl will discuss her new memoir about leaving a pricey Brooklyn neighborhood to buy a $35,000 fixer-upper in Detroit. Signing. Wednesday at 7 p.m., Literati, 124 E. Washington. Free.

Ann Arbor Civic Band Summer Concert Series. A popular local outdoor summer tradition, the 74-year-old Civic Band is led by director Bob Gourley. Bring a picnic and blanket and relax on the grass. This week’s concert is titled, “On the March,” featuring great marches, from Sousa to Mancini. Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the West Park Band Shell. Free.

JR JR at Sonic Lunch. Check out this nationally popular, Detroit-based indie electronic-pop duo, originally known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., that recently released an eponymous CD on Warner Bros. Opening act is Detroit-bred singer-songwriter Joe Hawley, a founding member of the popular pop-rock quintet Tally Hall, which got its start in 2002 when its members were U-M students. Thursday from noon-1:30 p.m. at Liberty Plaza, E. Liberty at S. Division in Ann Arbor. Free.

“Raiders” fan film event at the State Theater. This double feature event features a screening of the documentary “Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made”; a Q&A with Chris Strompolos (one of the stars of the documentary); and the shot-for-shot recreation “Raiders: The Adaptation,” made by Strompolos and his friends over 25 years. Thursday, 7-11 p.m. at the State Theater, 233 S. State St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $10, with discounts for students, children, etc. available.

A2CT’s “And Give Us the Shadows.” Paul Bianchi directs local actors in the Michigan premiere of Lars Norén’s whip-smart drama that imagines 20th-century playwright Eugene O’Neill being visited by his sons on his birthday. As a dark portrait of a dysfunctional family, the play shares features of O’Neill’s masterpiece, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., at Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s Studio Theater, 322 W. Ann in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $12, available at or 734-971-2228.

Kickshaw Theatre at Ann Arbor Art Center. Kickshaw Theatre presents Technology, In the Flesh, which is Lynn Lammers, Aral Gribble, and Angela Dawe’s 15-minute interactive performance that follows the journey of a scientist experimenting with digital and analog stimuli. Also, there will be an interactive play station with tech tools from the Ann Arbor District Library and performances by multimedia rap group The Black Opera, local DJ Scout, and Efflux, the improv duo of digital visual artist and musician Simon Alexander-Adam and percussionist Jon Taylor. Visitors are also invited to try animation, Claymation, and digital drawing in the center’s ARTLab. Friday 6-9 p.m. at Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 W. Liberty in Ann Arbor. $8 for tickets to the Kickshaw show; available in advance at

Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Residence at Kerrytown Concert House. Well-known musicians and ensembles present a series of chamber concerts. Part of a larger festival that includes performances in several other towns (see for full schedule). On Friday: The award-winning Colorado ensemble the Altius Quartet performs Brahms’ String Quartet no. 1 and a commissioned work by Loren Loiacono. Violinists Stephanie Gonley and Michael Gurevich, violist Scott Dickinson, cellist Adrian Brendel, and pianist Ian Brownperform Elgar’s Piano Quintet in A minor. On Sunday: Paul Watkins, cello/artistic director; Trio Honoré; Altius Quartet; Friction Quartet; and Alessio Bax, piano. Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $15-$35, and reservations are recommended. Visit or call 734-769-2999.

The Barefoot Movement at The Ark. Highly regarded young Nashville-based trio that plays traditional bluegrass, featuring a repertoire of standards and originals. Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $15, available in advance at,, or 734-763-TKTS.


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