Ann Arbor Summer Festival Artist Wishlist

. September 14, 2017.
Help Choose the Bands for 2018 Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Help Choose the Bands for 2018 Ann Arbor Summer Festival

Summer is just about to end…. But you can already set your mind on next year’s season of sunshine when you visit the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s website to add three of YOUR favorite local artists to their lineup wishlist. 

A2SF started back in 1984 as a partnership between the City of Ann Arbor and U-M, to provide an enriching outdoor festival where everyone can experience and engage with a multitude of artists in different mediums, (particularly music). It is a celebration of creativity and community energy, right in downtown Ann Arbor, near Hill Auditorium.

Dozens upon dozens of bands and musicians perform at multiple stages, be it local legends, young up-and-coming acts, and worldwide famous wonders like Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Andrew Bird and more!

We’re excited by the announcement of this Wishlist, because it gives you the chance to suggest your favorites, which will be combined with the already developing lists of the festivals coordinators in February.

Groups like The Go Rounds, The Moxie Strings, Liquid Monk, and Timothy Monger State Park graced the Top of the Park stage last year. Do you have a local artist you’d love to see? Or, is their a national/world tier musician that you’d just love to see visit Ann Arbor? Click here to make your picks.

If I could suggest three bands for my own wishlist, they’d include…

Louis Picasso
In 2013, Louis Picasso founded the local arts collective Hiiigher Minds, a multi-faceted network of musicians, producers and unique artists like CJ Rene, Chris Guru, AP, and King.Solo. Over the last year or more they’ve hosted a handful of happenings, shifting preconceptions of what a concert can be, at venues like 23 Ypsi.

The lyricist and producer otherwise known as Mark “Louis Picasso” Gholston, released a full length rap symphony back in March titled GOLD. Recorded and performed with a full backing band and a choir, Gholston described it as the kind of album he’s wanted to make all along.

Talking Ear
Talking Ear are an Ann Arbor-based prog-jazz ensemble featuring five masterful instrumentalists, each a composer in their own right, with keen sensibilities for arrangement, dynamics, and an adventurous experimentalism. A scholarly group, they’ve all been well-trained in the artform of Jazz, and some of them currently work as music teachers.

Detached from set downbeats, they find grace and harmony in what could otherwise be havoc. The rhythm is aerobic, the vocals are so emotive, the pianos crackle like fire and the guitar’s velocity during one part of the solo almost breaks away from the formation…. But these five young virtuosic jazz talents have a chemistry that keeps it all together, throughout even a 7+ minute blast.

Starling Electric 

Starling Electric are an Ann Arbor/Ypsi outfit that features Christian Blackmore Anderson, Ben Collins, John Fossum and Aaron Diehl, along with founding member and songwriter Caleb Dillon. The band has been kicking around with other lineups for more than a decade. Starling Electric was initially Dillon’s solo project from the early 2000s, eventually becoming a major mover and veritable shaker on the scene, swelling up to glorious folk-pop effusion alongside contemporary luminaries like Frontier Ruckus.

They had a busy year in 2016, in terms of releasing albums, but kept comparatively out of sight… Their live appearances are few and far between, but it’d be great to see them on the Top of the Park stage at Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

I could go on…

Failed Flowers! Shells! Little Traps! Minihorse! Truman! CJ Jones… Let’s start looking forward to NEXT Summer, already!

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