Top of the Park Series
June 13–July 6
Power Center Parking Structure, Ann Arbor
If you’re a little short on loot and looking for the best free entertainment in the area, try the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park Series. It transforms a downtown parking structure in Ann Arbor into a hub of live music, food, family events and film — and it’s all free. The method to the madness involves coupling live music with a film almost every night of the week. Some of the delightfully wacky combinations include Big Foot Bob and the Toe Tappers’ twanging country-folk and the Mel Gibson thriller Signs (June 23) or the legendary Ann Arbor jazz group lead by Paul Vornhagen playing the prelude to Crocodile Hunter (July 1). The Top of the Park Series has theme nights throughout the series, including “Vintage Night” on June 26 when vendors will offer T-shirts and rock posters from the last 20 years before a screening of American Graffiti. The series is great for families and provides a snapshot memory of summertime in Ann Arbor. Surf to www.mlive.com for details. The Power Center Parking Structure is at East Huron and Fletcher Street on the U-M campus.
Django Reinhardt New York Festival
Power Center, Ann Arbor
If you aren’t hip to the sound of seminal European guitarist Django Reinhardt, imagine it as the perfectly swinging, undeniably cool sound track to summer. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has attracted an illustrious group of European musicians that have made a name for themselves on this side of the pond by performing masterful tributes to Reinhardt’s work. The group, made up of contemporary Euro jazz greats like Dardo and Samson Schmitt, Ludovic Beier and Brian Torf performs annually to record-breaking audiences at New York’s Birdland jazz club. This summer they will make the trek to the Power Center (at East Huron and Fletcher Street) for an evening of joyful, gypsy-tinged jazz. Though ticket prices might be a little steep for penny-pinchers ($25-$36), rest assured, it’s worth every cent. For tickets call 734-764-2538.
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Pedja Muzijevic
Power Center, Ann Arbor
There’s a reason that Mikhail Baryshnikov is probably the only male dancer who is a household name. His physical expression and longevity as an artist have enabled him to remain at the top of his field years after most of his contemporaries have hung up their shoes. During his two-day stand at the Power Center with award-winning pianist Pedja Muzijevic, he will present a program of choreography by a host of European and American dancers. It will be an incredible pairing of artists who are giants in their own right — and one of the summer’s most notable dance events. For tickets and information, call 734-764-2538 or visit www.tickets.com.Send comments to [email protected]