with video: Tonight at Top of the Park: Peter Mulvey, the Sun Messengers, and more
Tonight is Day 8 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, hosted by Michael G. Nastos of WEMU, followed by a more detailed look at the events and attractions:
5-8 p.m. - KidZone - kids activity tent
5 p.m. - Retreat: West African dance workout
5 p.m. - Matt Jones - folk / pop
6 p.m. - Peter Mulvey - roots / blues
7 p.m. - 1592 - reggae / ska
9 p.m. - Sun Messengers - funk / pop
11 p.m. - After Dark with DJ Chuck Sipperley
Matt Jones - 5 p.m.
On the Grove stage. Composer, singer, and guitarist Matt Jones has had a strong influence on the sounds coming out of the Ann Arbor/Ypsi folk scene, collaborating regularly with artists such as Misty Lyn and The Big Beautiful, Elm From Arm, Dabenport, Jim Roll and Chris Bathgate.
AnnArbor.com feature story on Matt Jones
Peter Mulvey - 6 p.m.
With a poet’s sense of lyricism and imagery, internationally touring singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey combines a mirthful, gravelly baritone and spectacular guitar playing in his original songs and interpretations of Duke Ellington, Tom Waits, Jolie Holland, and Leonard Cohen.
1592 - 7 p.m.
Taking the vibe of Jamaica and blending it with Detroit soul, 1592 play danceable rocksteady, reggae and ska.
The Sun Messengers are an eight-piece, horn-driven R&B party band with a hard-hitting style that has made them a favorite in Southeast Michigan for over 30 years. The Sun Messengers have opened for Jay Leno, backed up R&B luminaries Martha Reeves, The Drifters and Sir Mack Rice, and have been rocking the Palace of Auburn Hills since 1996 as the house band for the Detroit Pistons.
Performing since: 1980
Home base: Detroit
Style of music: Funk and variety
Members: Rick Steiger, Gary Kwek, John Paxton, John Douglas, Arthur Colden, Dan Mayer, Tipp Hayes, Terry Thunder
Band name backstory: Two guys deeply into jazz & world music sitting at a kitchen table in the late 1970s thinking of band names.
Day jobs: This is our day job.
Favorite road food: Cracker Barrel
Favorite stage outfit: Sharp
Musical hero: James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Clinton
After Dark with DJ Chuck Sipperley - 11 p.m.
DJ plays in the Grove.
The Roots Lounge, presented by AnnArbor.com
Stop by The Roots Lounge, a new feature at the festival this year, presented by AnnArbor.com. With free public WiFi available through 20/20 Communications, it’s a place where you can post, share, tweet, read or just relax, listen and enjoy. And if your smartphone or tablet runs out of juice, stop by and use the free charging station.
Tonight visit with Ann Arbor 107one’s Matthew Altruda, in The Roots Lounge, as he emcees the stage performances in the adjacent Grove from 5-7 p.m. After 11 p.m., stop by After Dark as DJ Chuck Sipperley turns up the heat in The Grove and get your complimentary AnnArbor.com glow bracelet in The Roots Lounge.
Retreat: West African Dance Workout - 5-6 p.m.
"Retreat" is a series of mind-body sessions at Top of the Park. Led by experienced practitioners, all sessions are free, and take place each weekend in the gardens and courtyards surrounding the Alumni Center of Fletcher Street. This evening, West African Dance Workout with instructor Sandy Pierani.
KidZone - 5-8 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."
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.
View Summer Festival Top of The Park 2012 in a larger map