Free 12-hour music marathon features a wide variety of acts Nov. 4
DETROIT – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is gearing up again to open the doors of its home, the Max M. Fisher Music Center, for an entirely free musical extravaganza featuring more than 20 music acts of all genres. “Macy’s Day of Music at The Max,” (formerly “Marshall Field’s Day of Music”) on Saturday, Nov. 4 from noon to midnight, promises “a city transformed before your very ears.” The non-stop, 12-hour music marathon, generously sponsored by Macy’s Gives, spans the spectrum from classical, jazz and world music to children’s acts, gospel, blues, rock and folk.
Highlights of the festival include a free DSO concert with Detroit Dance Collective at 3 p.m., and from 8 p.m. to midnight, urban beats are the focus when top names in hip hop, soul and R&B – including Slum Village, Black Bottom Collective and Hot Sauce – take over to rock the house. All five stages within The Max will be utilized, including Orchestra Hall, The Music Box, Allesee Hall and two levels of the four-story atrium lobby.
Now in its fourth year, “Macy’s Day of Music at The Max” annually welcomes thousands of visitors from throughout the Metro Detroit region. The event celebrates Michigan’s extensive musical talent, representing all genres, and brings together a spectacularly diverse audience of music-lovers. The daytime hours feature a variety of family-friendly performances, as well as a wide range of hands-on family activities. The evening festivities will feature hip hop-soul-R&B performances, as well as the 4th Annual “DSO Idol Contest” for singers.
Schedule: Noon – 6 p.m.
Three simultaneous performances kick off the festivities of “Macy’s Day of Music at The Max” at noon.
Outside, the Detroit School of Arts Marching Band will stir up excitement on Woodward Avenue and welcome visitors. Inside, the Detroit Symphony Civic Sinfonia, the DSO’s youngest youth orchestra, performs in Orchestra Hall. Meanwhile, another youth group, the Maples Arabic Ensemble, introduces audiences to Arabic drumming and dance in The Music Box. They are followed by the DSO’s Civic Jazz Orchestra, a youth big band, in Allesee Hall. At the same time, singer/storyteller Tiana Marquez entertains families on the second level of the Atrium.
As the day continues, so does the diversity, with such acts as the Great Lakes Chorus of the Sweet Adelines (barbershop chorus); A Reasonable Facsimile (Renaissance music); Brother Angel (Portuguese folk/jazz fusion); Christa Grix (jazz harpist); Rise Again (folk guitar); Hot Club of Detroit (gypsy jazz); NAAHII (Native American drumming and dance); and Laith Al-Saadi Trio (blues-rock).
A highlight of the afternoon hours is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert in Orchestra Hall at 3 p.m. The DSO, led by Resident Conductor Thomas Wilkins, present a “carnival of music,” with such works as Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture,” Stravinsky’s “Circus Polka,” and Julius Fucik’s March from “Entrance of the Gladiators.” The DSO then joins forces with Detroit Dance Collective to present Saint Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” followed by selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical, “The King and I.”
Throughout the daytime hours, children can partake in their own festival of fun at the Children’s Activity Center where they’ll find face painting, balloon artists, coloring stations and arts and crafts. Also included are an instrument-making station and the endlessly creative possibilities provided by Arts and Scraps, as well as an “instrument petting zoo,” thanks to Marshall Music, which has stores locally in Allen Park, Troy and West Bloomfield.
Schedule: 6 p.m. to midnight
Gospel music launches the second half of “Macy’s Day of Music,” when Omari Taylor and Friends, in their fourth consecutive “Day of Music” appearance, raise the roof in The Music Box. Latin jazz heats things up in Orchestra Hall with Tumbao Bravo, while the all-female bluegrass band, The Syreens, will keep feet tapping in the Atrium.
At 7 p.m. the search for the area’s finest singers continues when the DSO Idol Contest takes place in Allesee Hall. Each of eight finalists will perform with either CD or piano accompaniment, and the winner will be selected by the audience via secret ballot. (The finalist contestants will be selected by DSO staff from audition CDs received earlier in the month). The winner, who will be announced prior to the 8 p.m. performance in The Music Box, will receive a free, professionally produced recording session at Wayne State University to create a demo CD. All contestants will receive a Macy’s gift card and DSO concert tickets as well.
At the conclusion of the Idol Contest, “Macy’s Day of Music at The Max” goes into overdrive for the evening hours when it focuses on homegrown talent that are taking hip hop, soul and R&B to the next level. All four of the major venues at The Max will be alive with some of the most popular Detroit artists on the scene, including DJ Sound Crew, who will be spinning in Allesee Hall from 8 p.m. to midnight.
The sizzle continues with Hot Sauce, an eight-piece Detroit band that is on the cusp of national fame, performing in The Music Box from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hot Sauce has its roots in jazz, but has expanded to embrace R&B, rock, gospel, soul, hip hop and funk. Its young members – ages 16 to 24 – have earned a loyal following and have been lauded for their energetic performances, skillful playing and hot grooves.
The evening’s headline act, Slum Village, performs in Orchestra Hall at 9 p.m. Currently comprised of Elzhi and T3, Slum Village is one of the most successful groups to come out of Detroit’s underground music scene, achieving national recognition and fame with their first album, “Fantastic, Vol. 2.” Though they have gone through many changes since their emergence in the late 90s, Slum Village’s musical mission has remained constant: to deliver soul-stirring sonics that represent Detroit to the fullest.
Two hours of raw urban energy by yet another Detroit heavy hitter, Black Bottom Collective, will close out “Macy’s Day of Music.” Named “Best Hip Hop Band in the Motor City” by Metro Times, Black Bottom takes the stage in The Music Box from 10 p.m. to midnight to deliver their usual ferocious, energetic and revivalist performance, one that’s been dubbed a “soul stirrin’ meetin.'”
If you go
All “Macy’s Day of Music” events are free and open to the public – no tickets required – and all performances are held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to direct audiences to the five stages located throughout The Max.
Parking is available at the Orchestra Place structure on Parsons St. and at the Woodward Garage, opposite The Max on Woodward, just north of Mack Ave., as well as at other lots and structures throughout the area.
An extensive array of food and beverages, provided by the DSO’s caterer Epoch Events, will be available for sale throughout the facilities.