No, that's not a typo in the headline! The Arab American National Museum (AANM) launches their latest Global Thursdays series with a smokin' Friday evening performance by Detroit blues legend Alberta Adams at 7:30 p.m. on January 21 at the Dearborn museum.
I saw the 93-year-old Adams at the Concert of Colors this past summer when she amazed everyone with a powerful performance and earned a standing ovation from an SRO audience in Detroit's Orchestra Hall. I can only imagine what her show might be like in the more intimate venue of the AANM's theater. Blues and Detroit music fans should be in for a real treat!
Music fans around town know the AANM as a major presenter of the Concert of Colors, Detroit's annual summer world music and diversity festival. Global Thursdays is an extension of the popular festival and presents a diverse bill of talent and ideas from around the world.
Simon Shaheen appeared at last summer's Concert of Colors and appears for a special performance benefiting the museum that features his fusion of Arabic, jazz, and Western classical styles and his virtuosity on the oud (a stringed instrument that is extremely popular in Arabic music). An Evening with Simon Shaheen happens Thursday, March 11 at the museum.
Orquesta La Inspiracion rounds out the musical portion of the Global Thursdays winter/spring schedule on Thursday, May 12, as a 10-piece band featuring some of Detroit's finest veteran salsa and jazz musicians serve up a hot program of salsa and other Latin-flavored dance music.
Preview an upcoming PBS documentary on Thursday, February 10, with a showing of Freedom Riders, the story of more than 400 black and white Americans who risked their lives to challenge segregation and Jim Crow laws in the Deep South during 1961. A discussion following the film featuring a Freedom Ride participant offers a personal perspective on this profound and affecting story.
I wonder if the rise in popularity here of programs featuring short talks about a variety of ideas, accompanied by projected slides or images, has its genesis in the Tokyo practice of PechaKucha, or "chit chat". Check out PechaKucha Night on Thursday, April 14, when speakers present five-minute programs, accompanied by 20 images, about some of the newest designs and creative ideas. The museum invites architects, graphic designers, industrial designers, and other creatives to apply as presenters and invites those with an interest in new ideas to come and watch the presentations.
Global Thursdays programs begin at 7:30 p.m. in the AANM's 156-seat auditorium, which is on the lower level of the museum at 13624 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Michigan. Free parking is available in the lighted lot behind the museum. Check out the AANM site for information about the programs, prices, and purchasing tickets.
Watch video of Alberta Adams' great 2010 Concert of Colors performance on My Damn Channel. You can also check out Amazon for Alberta Adams and Simon Shaheen to listen to samples of their music.
Looking for a little extra bit of summer? The Alfred Shaheen: Fabric to Fashion exhibit is at the AANM through March 13. The Lebanese American engineer popularized the men's Hawaiian shirt and developed many mid-20th-century textiles and technical innovations in the islands' clothing industry. The show features dozens of vintage textiles, garments, and photos. Check the AANM site for information about museum admission and hours.
© Dominique King 2011 All rights reserved