Trevor Watts/ Jamie Harris Trio
Like more than a few other great sax players, Trevor Watts has a thing about drummers. He came onto the British free jazz scene in the ’60s alongside drummer John Stevens in the now-legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble; he’s played with masses of percussionists in some projects and, in others, concentrated on interactions with just one cat, as in his current collaborations with percussionist-vocalist Jamie Harris. Together they lean toward motifs influenced by Celtic, North African and West African music — and stretch them into the improvisational stratosphere. They’re exemplars of jazz internationalism, circa now. Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2999.
Friday • 3
Long before hometown techno godheads Underground Resistance, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May or Blake Baxter ever achieved an iota of global notoriety, there was Kraftwerk. The history of this innovative band dates back to the late ’60s when two classically trained German art students — Ralk Hütter and Florian Schneider Esleben — formed Organisation, an avant-garde noise band. The band later evolved into Kraftwerk and their unique combination of sounds, feedback and rhythm changed the course of pop music forever. State Theater, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450.
Friday-Sunday • 3-5
‘For the House and Garden’ Show and Sale
Few things accent home and garden quite like the earthy beauty of a kiln-fired piece of pottery. Now celebrating its 102nd anniversary, Pewabic Pottery and more that 70 nationally known artists present ceramic sculpture, tableware and decorative pieces for the 15th Annual "For the House and Garden" Show and Sale. The three-day event kicks off with a ticketed preview party (Friday, June 3, 6:30-9:30 p.m., $75 per person), where partygoers can enjoy food from Detroit-area restaurants and music from the Shelia Landis Trio. It continues Saturday and Sunday with a show that’s free an open to the public. Pewabic Pottery, 10125 Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-822-6266.
Friday-Sunday • 3-5
In keeping with their commitment to the truly avant-garde, Ypsilanti’s Dreamland Theater presents Nightspell — an original play for the tender heart in all of us. Written and directed by local artist Kate Ritter, Nightspell is set in a mythical time and place where the fragile lives of delicate snow creatures are threatened by a changing world. This charming and life-affirming work is perfect for the whole family. Original music written by Misha Grey. Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 5, at 3 p.m. 44 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-657-2337. $12/adults, $7/age 12 and younger.
Saturday • 4
Omerica: The Surregionalist works of Charles Wish
Artist Charles Wish is a dreamer. The painter, whose influences range from hardcore punk rock to Hinduism, has spent plenty of time figuring out his take on the world. Wish lived at a Hindu monastery after graduating from college; there he began to envision a utopian vision of America. His latest installation, Omerica, uses a variety of well-known icons and symbols such as the Quaker Oats Man, Narcissus and crop circles, to represent his own version of what America really means to him. The painting "Vacant Promises," for example, is Wish’s interesting take on Grant Wood’s iconic "American Gothic." CPop Gallery, 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9901. Closes July 16.
Saturday • 4
Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett
Naomi Long Madgett, the poet laureate of Detroit, will be honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History this week. A bronze bust of Madgett, created by Canadian artist Artis Lane, will be unveiled and donated to the museum. Madgett, an English teacher in Detroit Public Schools for 12 years, has written nine collections of poetry (the first published when she was 17) and has earned numerous honors, including an American Book Award, a George Kent Award and induction into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent and the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. 7:30 p.m., 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-494-5800. $8/adults, $5/seniors and children. Free for museum members.
Saturday • 4
LEARNING/FUN FOR ALL
To the average kid, the term "materials research" might mean nothing more than a one-way ticket to snoresville, but at the Cranbook Institute of Science, the topic comes to life. Taking up a colossal 6,000 square feet, Strange Matter — a hands-on technologies and interactive experience — is sure to wow even the most jaded of kids. Visitors will encounter more than a dozen hand-on experiences, including seeing different materials under a microscopic camera lens and a chance to check out aerogal foam — the lightest material ever made. And be sure to check out the Magnetic Liquids pod, where visitors can swish their gloved-hand around in a vat of magneto-rheological fluid and feel it morph from liquid to solid. Pique your child’s interest in science at 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3245.
Sunday & Tuesday • 5 & 7
Joseph Francis Keaton Jr., dubbed "Buster" by family friend Harry Houdini after a harrowing fall down a staircase, is an unusual American treasure. The vaudevillian-gone-movie star was a master of physical comedy, known for cheating death by performing many of his own stunts in his films. This week, one of his most popular films, 1927’s The General, will show at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. The story revolves around train engineer Johnny Gray, who is turned down for service in the Civil War because he’s more valuable as an engineer. His true love, Annabelle, thinks it’s because he’s a coward. But when Union spies capture his train, The General, with Annabelle on board, Gray must come to the rescue. 3 p.m. Sunday, June 5, and 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 7. 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-8163. Organ accompaniment scheduled.