Weeknight tropical wine-down: Typically, if you’re looking for a low-key weeknight set (which still has the potential to blow some weekend sets out of the water), Motor City Wine is the go-to spot. While the outdoor patio is closed in the colder months, the wine tasting room plays host to an eclectic array of DJs and jazz artists in a uniquely intimate setting. One of the newest weekly sets is hosted by DJ and Motor City Wine proprietor David A-P alongside one of Detroit’s hardest working DJ-producers, Dez Andrés. Simply titled Tropicalia, expect a mixture of salsa, samba, mambo, bossa nova, Brazilian psychedelic, and all the other topical Latin vibes in between. While DJ Dez has achieved cult status for his decades-long career as a singular producer on Moodymann’s Mahogani Music label and his own La Vida deep house imprint, he’s also known for his masterful conga-playing. There is no one better to entrust with a Latin-everything music night. Tropicalia happens every Thursday at Motor City Wine, no cover. —Joe Zimmer
Detroit made me funky: The ultimate connoisseurs of soul, R&B and everything-in-between 45s, Brad Hales and Frank Raines’s long-standing monthly party Funk Night returns to the Old Miami this Friday, Jan. 27. Raines runs the record label of the same name, Funk Night Records, specializing in private press funk music, forgotten gems, and even some local hip-hop mixed in. Hales is the owner of People’s Records, a gold mine for gospel, jazz, and funk music fans, with encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s homegrown labels and recordings. The duo typically plays music exclusively from their crates of 7-inch records, and you’ll often hear music that is virtually impossible to hear anywhere else. This week’s edition includes a special treat, with a live performance from Ultimate Ovation, an OG Detroit band from the 1970s which operated its own record label in the city called Ultimate 1999. They’ve recently recorded some new music, available on Funk Night Records, naturally. —Joe Zimmer
Exploring the origins of house music: Before there was house, there was disco, and many dance music historians would point to Francois K as one of the leading forces behind this cultural transition. Born in France, Francois moved to New York in 1975 and eventually found himself playing at legendary establishments such as Studio 54, Paradise Garage, and more. As an A&R at Prelude Records and then starting several labels of his own, Francois’s remixes and selections have helped define the sound of New York dance music for the last 40-plus years. On Saturday, Feb.11, Francois will be touching down at Marble Bar in Detroit along with fellow New Yorkers JADALAREIGN and Rissa Garcia, so expect a night of sonic euphoria perfect for combatting the winter blues. Tickets are available on Resident Advisor. —Broccoli
Stoop Lee presents Tha Sequel: It’s been a busy couple years for Stoop Lee, a Detroit Hip Hop artist that has made a name for himself with nostalgic flows, easy-going style, and a heck of a live band to boot. Lately he’s been doing more show organizing, including a huge skateboarding and music festival at Detroit’s Bishop Skatepark last year, and on Friday, March 24 he’s returning to El Club Detroit for “Tha Sequel.” Part show part music showcase, the lineup features artists that Stoop Lee works with and respects in the local music scene, exhibiting a sense of intentionality and genuine community building that we don’t always see in the hyper-financially-incentivized world of ticket sales and social media numbers. Ally Evenson brings a soft yet forceful touch to the lineup, and Curtis Roach is sure to put on a show as one of the city’s brightest new stars to come out of the pandemic. Whu Else joins in as another promising local act on the bill, and finally Pia the Band rounds out a lineup that blends the worlds of indie music, hip-hop, and beyond. Tickets are available at elclubdetroit.com. —Broccoli
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