Wait a minute: Griot Galaxy is playing Concert of Colors this year?!


  • Griot Galaxy. Courtesy photo.
This year's Concert of Colors looks to be pretty phenomenal. The 1967 rebellion is a theme to this year's free event, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

They're showing that Tuareg Mali Blues film as well as the new Coltrane documentary which we have yet to check out (though it currently is showing at Cinema Detroit). Onyx Ashanti is performing, and this year's Don Was All Star Revue is so packed it'll make your head spin. There's even a panel on the White Panther Party that looks to be essential.

This year's Concert of Colors goes down July 12-16 all over downtown Detroit, and remains free. It's produced by several of the area’s cultural centers — chiefly the DIA, the Arab American National Museum,  the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the DSO, ACCESS and the University of Michigan-Detroit Center — and this year, Third Man Cass Corridor has been added to the mix.

Somehow when the initial lineup was revealed the other week, we missed the fact that none other than Griot Galaxy is slated to perform! Holy moley.

This will be the full, classic lineup, minus of course the group's guiding force Faruq Z. Bey (RIP), so we imagine it to be comparable to Arkestra shows of the last two dozen years under the direction of Marshall Allen. While there was a tribute to Griot including many members of the act shortly after Bey died, this will basically be the first time these folks have all played together since the mid 1980s. It's certainly the first show in many years under the "Griot Galaxy" name.

"Griot Galaxy is the legendary Detroit avant-garde jazz ensemble founded by the late Faruq Z. Bey – one of the visionaries of Detroit’s modern jazz scene. Originally formed in the 1970s, Griot has been a cult favorite worldwide ever since. The lineup features David McMurray and Tony Holland on saxophones, Jaribu Shahid on bass and Tani Tabbal on drums, plus special guests." — from the Concert of Colors website.

Griot Galaxy will perform on Friday, July 14, at the John R Stage at 9:30 p.m.; on the sidewalk at the entrance to the Science Center on John R; in the event of rain, head over to the Detroit Film Theater at DIA.


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