Top picks

Concert of Colors
July 11-13
Chene Park, Detroit

Unless you’re the most ardent of musical globalists, you’ve got to read the Concert of Colors lineup and go “yeah!” to the headliners but “huh?” to at least some of the others. And if you’ve been to this world music bash on the riverfront before, you know that discovering new (to you) bands from the Philippines or Morocco or New York is the name of the dance here. So while you may be thrilled about the currently hot Patty Larkin, ’70s hit-makers War, reggae stars Third World and rock legend Bo Diddley, for example, this is also your the chance to discover acts like Brazil’s Vinicius Cantuaria and Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi (pictured). That’s not to mention seeing Detroit favorites like Thornetta Davis and Dick Siegel. A production of ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) and New Detroit, Inc., the concert continues as a model for celebrating diversity through the arts. See

Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival
Aug. 30-Sept.1
Hart Plaza, Detroit

There are some changes this year at the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival. The activities contract from four days to three, and the programming literally screams: This isn’t just for the jazz purists, we want the world to swing with us down at Hart Plaza. Which is to say the headliners each day are divas who ply plenty of pop appeal along with their jazz chops: Natalie Cole (pictured), Roberta Flack and Chaka Khan. The idea is that fans drawn for the divas will give themselves a chance to be swayed by the kind of names more often familiar to avowed fans of jazz. Those include elder statesmen like James Moody and Terry Gibbs, a homecoming hero in Ron Carter, relatively younger voices like Greg Osby and Benny Green, and absolutely younger voices like Peter Cincotti and Lizz Wright. And don’t forget homegrown Detroit talent from the Brothers Groove to Larry Nozero. Check

Wild Summer Nights
July 2–Aug. 27
The Detroit Zoological Institute, Royal Oak

Nothing can give rise to your animal instincts like a trip to the Detroit Zoo. Year after year, the zoo offers top-notch programs for kids and adults, along with breathtaking wildlife exhibits. For an ideal date, check out the Wild Summer Nights concert series, which brings the best local musicians to the zoo for open-air concerts that are free with admission. Take a stroll through the zoo in the afternoon (true romantics should wander through the magically lush Butterfly Garden), and when things start to cool off, put down a blanket and enjoy jazz, classical, rock, blues and reggae concerts in the fading light of a summer evening. That’s amore. For information, look to or call 248-398-0900. The zoo is at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road (at Woodward) in Royal Oak.

Rochester Grangers Baseball
Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

What sound better brings summer to mind than the crack of a bat? Sports enthusiasts might want to take themselves out to the ball game and cheer on the Grangers, the area’s only historical baseball team. Though historical baseball has a similar set of principles to what the Tigers play, the details of the game are all different. Players can’t steal, don’t have strikes and balls called while at bat and after crossing home plate have to approach the scorer’s table and politely request that the scorekeeper “tally your ace.” With historical uniforms and gear, a Grangers game can be quite a spectacle to behold. For a schedule of games, locations and information about the team call 248-656-4600.

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