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Concert of Colors 2009 announced with Don Was Super Session returning to Detroit




Don Was Super Session returns with more Detroit music legends
Free family fun and communal activities featured in outdoor setting
Arts organizations across the nation are suffering the effects of the global economic crisis.
Here in metro Detroit, the loss of philanthropic support, particularly from automakers,
is making headlines and headaches for the arts.

Despite these challenges, the Arab American National Museum, New Detroit, Inc., Detroit Symphony Orchestra and ACCESS – the presenting partners of the annual Concert of Colors – are pleased to announce that the show will go on in 2009, despite the loss of its title sponsor.

“Chrysler has been the lead sponsor of Concert of Colors for years. We know they are struggling and their sponsorship will be sorely missed,” says Hassan Jaber, executive director of ACCESS. “However, we intend to keep this very special event going as we search for a new major sponsor. And we thank Meijer, Comerica and AT&T for sticking with Concert of Colors during these challenging times, and Yelp Detroit for joining us this year as a media sponsor.”

This year’s 17th annual free musical celebration of metro Detroit’s cultural diversity will take place Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 in and around the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Among the confirmed performers are guitarist/singer/songwriter Vieux Farka Toure, son of the legendary Ali Farka Toure and a rising star in Mali’s music scene. Metro Detroit native son Don Was will reprise his spectacular 2008 Concert of Colors Detroit Super Session with a new cavalcade of classic Detroit acts.
in early June for the complete schedule.

Outdoors, Parsons Street and the adjacent Orchestra Place Lawn will be an active Concert of Colors site. Local vendors will once again set up shop on Parsons Street to offer a variety of multicultural food and merchandise. Attendees are also being encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets and dine al fresco on the Lawn amid the dramatic Louise Nevelson sculptures.

"The Concert of Colors is important because it melds together culture and community into a single event that brings people together from many different walks of life,” says Anne Parsons, president and CEO of Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “In addition, the event embodies Max Fisher's original idea that Orchestra Hall would extend beyond classical music to be a community center that embraces music across genres. We are thrilled to be the host to this creative and vibrant event year after year."

The presenting partners also believe continuity
is vital to the future
of this beloved annual music festival.

"We are pleased that thanks to the continued generous support of our sponsors, we can again present the Concert of Colors this year at no cost to the community. This is a family-friendly event with free activities for children on the lawn," says Shirley R. Stancato, president and CEO of New Detroit, Inc.

All Concert of Colors performances are indeed free and open to the public; however, those willing to pay for reserved prime Main Stage seating throughout the festival may opt to become a Concert of Colors “Groupie,” a limited opportunity that also includes private “meet the artist” receptions and a Groupie tee shirt. The Groupie program debuted in 2006 with resounding success. Individual Groupies pay $60; a Couple of Groupies is $100.

Registration information will be available
next month at

Designed to celebrate the many ethnic and cultural groups that comprise metro Detroit, the Concert of Colors is produced in partnership by the Arab American National Museum, New Detroit, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services). New Detroit’s Cultural Exchange Network, a consortium of 69 community-based organizations representing metro Detroit’s communities of color also plays an active role. New Detroit, Inc. and ACCESS established the event in 1993 at Chene Park on Detroit’s riverfront. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra hosted the 2005 opening night program and came on board fully in 2006 when its Max M. Fisher Music Center became the host venue.

The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves, celebrates, and educates the public on the history, life, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. We serve as a resource to enhance knowledge and understanding about Arab Americans and their presence in this country. The Arab American National Museum is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, Michigan-based nonprofit human services and cultural organization. Learn more at and

New Detroit is the coalition of Detroit area leadership addressing the issue of race relations by positively impacting issues and policies that ensure economic and social equity. Learn more at

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists. Beginning in the 2008-09 season, esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO. The DSO boasts a year-round performance schedule that includes classical, pops, jazz, world music, young people’s concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information and to purchase tickets for concerts, visit the new DSO web site at or call (313) 576-5111.

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