John Sinclair’s 4:20 Festival of Music and Art
The term "4:20" is argot for reefer lovers to spark up a joint, but this week, it doubles as the date for a unique D-town affair. In an effort to raise awareness about marijuana law reform, the original "Mary Jane" martyr himself, John Sinclair (who, in 1967, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving an undercover cop two joints) will host the 4:20 Festival of Music and Art. Along with his band, the Motor City Blues Scholars, Sinclair sheds some light on the issue of legalizing marijuana. This daylong event will feature music from Johnnie Bassett & His Original Blues Insurgents and Sista Otis, and will also include vendors of hemp clothing, jewelry, T-shirts, tie-dyes and food. Rock poster artist Gary Grimshaw will also be on site to sell his works. At the Hastings Street Ballroom, 715 E. Milwaukee, Detroit; 313- 873-2955. Tailgating is encouraged.
Thursday • 21
It wasn’t long after her initial foray into the music biz, that soul-stomper Sharon Jones found herself sharing bills with folks like the Four Tops, The Drifters and Maceo Parker. And over the years, the voluptuous trillmaster has honed her skills enough to be a favorite on the club scene. In the late ’90s, Jones enjoyed the success of club hits like "Damn It’s Hot" and "You Better Think Twice," and her latest effort — a full-length album with the Dap Kings (which includes members of the Antibalas Orchestra) — is winning acclaim. Hometown faves, the Elevations, will open at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030.
Thursday-Saturday • 21-23
Great Lakes International Banjo Convention
A banjo convention, you say? Sure, why not? If you’re a fan of the contra, or even if you just like the Appalachian goodness of the banjo, get yourself to the Great Lakes International Banjo Convention. This event is sure to bring out some of the finest pickers, dancers and instrument dealers around. Workshops are available for players of all levels, and there’ll be banjo performances at 7 p.m. both nights. At the Holiday Inn, 26555 Telegraph Rd., Southfield; 248-353-7700.
Thursday, Sunday • 21, 24
SCOFIELD AND MEHLDAU, KING BENEFIT
Here’s a copasetic double-bill. Electric guitarist John Scofield reached star status after working with Miles Davis in the ’80s; he comes on like a glad-handing musical extrovert, but can quiet down to show a more intimate side. Acoustic pianist Brad Mehldau brings to mind the introspection of Bill Evans’ ’60s trio, but he can burst out of his shell surprisingly. The two greats come together Thursday at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty Street, Ann Arbor; for information, call 734-764-2538. The week’s other big jazz event is a Sunday fundraiser to pay lawyers dealing with the passport woes plaguing drummer Leonard King’s gigs with the James Carter Organ Trio. The Carter trio, King’s Oopapada, Lyman Woodard, Bill Meyers and others are to play. At Bert’s Marketplace, 2727 Russell St., Detroit; call 313-567-2030.
Friday • 22
The Abreact Performance Space will present its fourth and final show of the 2004-2005 season with The Metamorphosis. The play — adapted from Franz Kakfa’s short story about the human condition — is the tale of an overworked man, Gregor Samsa, who has completely devoted his life to supporting his parents and sister. When he awakens one morning only to discover that he has turned into a giant bug, Kafka’s signature deadpan humor and penchant for the macabre ensues. At the Abreact Performance Space, 442 E. Lafayette (in the Boydell Building), Detroit; 313-965-4481. Runs Fridays, Saturdays and select Sundays until May 15.
Friday • 22
Detroit Dance Collective
Founded in 1980, the Detroit Dance Collective is one of Michigan’s longest-running dance companies. The collective’s mission has been to create and produce high-quality dance and related arts programming that’s accessible (and affordable) to all Detroit citizens. This week, it celebrates its 25th anniversary with a gala concert. The event will premiere new choreography by DDC artistic director Barbara Selinger, as well as works from guest NYC choreographer Alan Danielson. At the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-943-2354.
Saturday • 23
2005 Graduate Degree Exhibition
The internationally recognized Cranbrook Academy of Art hosts its ever-popular Graduate Degree Exhibition this week. The program includes works by 72 students from the Academy’s Architecture, Ceramics, 2D Design, 3D Design, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media and Sculpture departments and, as always, promises to deliver some of the most innovative and beautiful works of the year. This show will run until May 13 at 39221 N. Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3300.
Saturday-Sunday • 23-24
Michigan Modernism Expo
More than 80 dealers will make their way to Southfield this weekend for the annual Michigan Modernism Expo. The sellers will display their best of the Modernism movement in furniture, clothing, jewelry, radios, art glass and more. The movement includes such genres as art deco, art nouveau, arts and crafts and surrealism, and featuring such artists as Frank Lloyd Wright, Tiffany, Herman Miller, Heywood Wakefield, the Stickleys and Salvador Dalí. Tickets for the preview show are $65 in advance and $75 at the door (proceeds will benefit ArtServe Michigan and the Detroit Area Art Deco Society), while tickets for the regular expo can be purchased for $8. At the Southfield Civic Center, 26000 Evergreen Rd.; 248-354-1000.
Tuesday-Wednesday • 26-27
Afternoon Salon for Stanley Crouch
Who better to kick off the admirably independent Book Beat’s new "Conversations With Authors" series than essayist, novelist, columnist, television commentator, literary and music critic Stanley Crouch? From 4-5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, the tell-it-like-it-is pundit will swing by the store for a book signing. 26010 Greenfield, Oak Park; 248-968-1190. And at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, Crouch will be the guest speaker at Wayne State University’s Undergraduate Library (313-577-4020).