DETROIT – Following Hal Sparks’ performance, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present “Detroit Legends of Electronic Music” with Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Dec. 31 at The Music Box at The Max.
“The DSO wanted to create a New Year’s Eve event that would make The Max the place to be on December 31,” said Kendra Whitlock, DSO Director or Pops and Specials, in a statement. “Hal Sparks offers a fun way to start the evening, and the techno event is uniquely Detroit: It features three of the biggest names from Detroit’s electronic music movement, presented by one of Detroit’s most prominent cultural institutions in one of Detroit’s greatest performance venues. We’re excited to welcome a very different crowd to The Max for these festivities.”
The three pioneers of the genre greet the New Year with their signature blend of techno, hip-hop and pop music, while popular electronic music artists Theo Parrish and Al Ester spin music in Allesee Rehearsal Hall.
Born in Detroit and raised in Belleville, Derrick May, along with high school friends Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, commonly known as the Belleville Three, are credited with developing the variation on electronic music that would be dubbed “techno” by Atkins. The 1987 release of “Strings of Life,” one of house music’s classic anthems, simultaneously launched May’s career and brought Detroit techno to Europe. May’s record label Transmat produces records by well-known electronic music artists. He continues to work as a DJ and recently was producer of Detroit’s popular electronic music festival.
One of the founders of electronic music, Brooklyn native Kevin Saunderson moved to Detroit at the age of 9 and became friends with Derrick May. He started his career as a DJ which led him into producing music that he released on his own label, KMS Records. In 1987, he formed the successful group Inner City, along with vocalists Ann Saunderson, his wife, and Chicago native Paris Grey. The group is best known for their early dance floor/pop music crossover tracks, while later work introduced a hybrid of techno, jazz and swing beats with a more soulful sound.
Carl Craig is one of the leaders of the second generation of electronic music. He has been credited with starting a new movement in techno music, with his remixes of world beat and jazz songs. His 1992 release, “Bug in the Bassbin,” was a key influence in the then-evolving sound of drum and bass. He has also created his own record label called Planet E, which apart from his own work, includes records by popular electronic music artists. Craig was also the original artistic director of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
To celebrate in high style, the “Detroit Legends of Electronic Music” event will feature special VIP tickets that will provide exclusive “cabanas” in the Atrium featuring bottle service. The VIP tickets will also provide exclusive access to the Paradise Cafe, light hors d’oeuvres, upscale hats and noisemakers and valet parking.
Tickets for “Detroit Legends of Electronic Music” are $55 for general admission and $100 for VIP tickets. Tickets for comedian Hal Sparks in Orchestra Hall range in price from $30 to $70. Patrons purchasing tickets to both events will receive a 10-percent discount on Hal Sparks tickets. Purchasers of VIP tickets to “Detroit Legends of Electronic Music” will receive a 25-percent discount on Hal Sparks tickets. Tickets to both events are available at The Max box office by calling (313) 576-5111 or at www.detroitsymphony.com.
Detroit Legends of Electronic Music
Featuring: Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig
10 p.m.-4 a.m. Dec. 31