tonight at Top of the Park: Los Gatos, wines of France, 'Inception' and more
Tonight is Day 11 of Top of the Park, the popular, free (donations welcome) outdoor happening featuring music, movies, kicking back, running into friends, and a variety of other attractions.
Each day in cooperation with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival—which presents Top of the Park as well as main-stage ticketed events—AnnArbor.com is publishing a rundown of the night's happenings. Here's an overview of tonight's schedule, followed by a more detailed look at the events and attractions:
6:30-8 p.m. - KidZone - kids activity tent
6:30-8 p.m. - Wind Down Wednesday - wine tasting
6:30 p.m. - Los Gatos - Latin jazz
8 p.m. - Zap Toro - funk/jazz
10 p.m. - Movie: "Inception"
Los Gatos maestro Pete Siers leads the area’s best musicians in vibe-influenced Latin jazz. Their most recent recording, "Insight," is a compilation of elegant boleros, delightful pachangas, firery mambos, relaxed cha cha chas, and exotic, 6/8 Afro-Cuban dance music. Performing since: 1997.
Home Base: Ann Arbor.
Style of music: Sslsa/Latin jazz/dance music.
Members: Pete Siers- Leader, timbales, vocals; Al DiBlassio - congas, lead vocals; Brian DiBlassio - piano, vocals; Cary Kocher - vibes, percussion, vocals; Kurt Krahnke - bass.
Backstory behind the bands name: The name was bestowed upon us by one of our mentors, one of the great congeros in the area, Alberto Nacif. He being a source of the "Cuban Music Experience" gave us the encouragement to proceed.
Day jobs: Pete - full-time dad and husband, full-time musician, educator, bandleader; Al DiBlassio - Yellow Cab, musician; Brian DiBlassio - associate professor of music at U-M -Flint, freelance musician; Cary Kocher - director of bands at Forsythe Middle School, freelance musician; Kurt Krahnke - full-time freelance musician.
Favorite road food: Vegetarian/spicy and muy caliente.
Favorite Stage Outfit: If we're talking clothes - dressy casual.
Musical hero: Cal Tjader. We play a lot of his music and have understood the straddling of musical integrity of dance music vs. jazz as listening music, and still keep working. We strive to balance of both. We also understand the depth of a Norwegian immersed in Latin music. Right now our man is Joe Cuba!
Zap Toro - 8 p.m.
Whether they’re intoxicating dancers with a balmy Cuban rhythm or moving a room with a heavy funk-laden groove, instrumental group Zap Toro never ceases to be one electrifying beast. Made up of a patchwork of hard-hitting musicians, this Detroit favorite charges through a repertoire of Brazilian jazz, Latin rock with Eastern nuances and deep cutting funk.
Performing since: 2009.
Home base: Detroit.
Style of music: Latin/Brazilian jazz funk n' rock.
Members: Sean Blackman (guitar), Kris Kurzawa (guitar), James Simonson (bass), Rick Beamon (drums), Mark Harper (piano), Dan Schmatz (percussion).
Backstory behind the band's name: The electric bulls.
Day jobs: No way!!!!
Favorite road food: grass.
Musical hero: All the gods.
Movie: "Inception" - 10:00 p.m.
2010, PG-13, 148 minutes: Director Christopher Nolan's ambitious, intelligent sci-fi heist thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb, an American expat skilled in stealing ideas from people's dreams. He's offered an opportunity to return to the States if he can pull off one last big job—and, naturally, metaphysical complications ensue. The Detroit News called it "the most daring and original blockbuster of the year, as well as a visual tour de force." Winner of 4 Academy Awards for cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.
WInd Down Wednesday - 6:30-8 p.m.
For a $10 tasting fee, attendees can sample up to three different wines from the evening’s featured selection. Tastings include wine, descriptive tasting notes, and wine experts to educate on the featured selections. In addition, drink specials on each of that evening's presented wines in The Grove until 9 p.m. for all participants. Tonight's feature: wines from France. 21+; limited capacity.
KidZone - 6:30-8 p.m.
As described by the festival, "An interactive area for our youngest concert-goers, the Kidzone tent provides a fun and safe area for children and their parents to discover and explore a wide variety of hands-on activities with different community partners. From getting temporary tattoos, creating homemade instruments, or jamming out rock band style, KidZone offers different nightly activities for families at Top of the Park. Open nightly ‘til 8:00 pm."
Special note — free wifi:
New this year, AnnArbor.com in partnership with 20/20 Communications is providing free public WiFi access utilizing WiMax services broadcast from the top of Tower Plaza at Top of the Park for the duration of the 2011 Summer Festival. Look for the AnnArbor.com Public WiFi SSID and get connected!
Top of the Park takes place in front of the Rackham Building on East Washington Street. In addition to the daily entertainment, a variety of local food vendors will also be on hand each night. For more information, see the Summer Festival website, and watch AnnArbor.com for complete coverage of festival events.
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Los Lonely Boys
With special guest Alejandro Escovedo
Power Center, 8 p.m.
Tickets $30-$45, 734-764-2538 or www.annarborsummerfestival.org
Preview article from AnnArbor.com