Three Stages Will Bring The Art Fair an Eclectic Soundtrack

The Ann Arbor Art Fair has announced its lineup for all three of its music venues for 2023. State Street Art Fair Director Frances Todoro-Hargeaves said the organizers choices of artists were selected to emphasize local musical variety.

Todoro-Hargeaves said they are all looking forward to this year’s Art Fair, especially because this is the first year for the youth chalk activity which will be located at the block holding the State Street Stage.

The Stage On Main

The Stage on Main is a co-production with The Ark. Musician Natalie Mae will kick off the venue in the parking lot at the corner of William and Main at 6 p.m, Thursday, July 20, followed by the Sons of the Never Wrong at 7:30 p.m.

The Prison Creative Arts Project will fill the space starting at 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. This University of Michigan program is a theater workshop that allows artistic expression for incarcerated individuals, allowing them to express their lived experiences. They will have the Youth Arts Alliance and Staying Power at 11 a.m. on Friday, followed by Voices of the Unheard with Laitr at 12 p.m, the Michigan Citizens for Prison Reform at 1 p.m, the AFSC Band at 2:00 p.m., and In & On Our Own Terms at 3 p.m.

The Ark will also have shows on Friday and Saturday in the Main Street section of the Art Fair, July 21 and 22.

Ki5 will perform at 6 p.m, followed by Jeffrey Martin and Anna Tivel starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Brian Plasticity Ukulele Collective and Blueshouse will play from 6-8 p.m. on July 22.

Ingalls Mall

Ingalls Mall has long been a natural outdoor concert venue and this year will be no different. It will host the Fountain Stage once again on July 20, 21 and 22.

“I am excited that the Art Fair is going to be back in its robust form, just to see all of the artists that are coming back,” Rochelle Clark, one of the musicians who will be at the Fountain Stage on Friday, said. “Because of the last [few] years with Covid and things of that nature, there’s been this slow and steady getting back to normal. This year feels like Art Fair is back … and I’m really excited to have that energy in town again.”

The Fountain Stage will kick off Thursday with Sam Olive at 11 a.m., followed by Kathy Wieland and Lauren Cane at 12 p.m, Adam Labeau at 1 p.m, Annie and Rod Capps at 2 p.m., Laura Russeau at 3 p.m, Jim Smith & Dave Keeney at 4 p.m, and Danny Kline at 5 p.m, before the finale of Tim Monger with Carol Catherine at 6 p.m.

Friday’s show will start with Rebeca Cameron at 11 a.m, Angela Predhomme at 12 p.m, the Young People’s Theater Musical Theatre Show Choir at 1 p.m, John Lamb at 2 p.m, the Warehouse Cloggers at 3 p.m, Michelle Held at 4 p.m, Rochelle Clark at 5 p.m, and Billy King at 6 p.m.

Amy Grace will start on Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by Lily MacPhee at 12 p.m. Matt Trumpan of Ego Trip will do an acoustic set at 1 p.m. He’ll be followed by Annie & Rod Capps at 2 p.m., Laura Russeau at 3 p.m, Indie Rock Royalty at 4 p.m., the Shannon Lee Trio at 5 p.m. and finally the Keynote Sisters’ Phoebe Holmes at 6 p.m

The State Street Stage

Despite being called the State Street Stage, the third music stage this year will in fact be one block south of the State Street intersection between the Michigan Theater and the southern entrance to Graffiti Alley. You will find it at the corner of William and Maynard Streets, right at the base of Ann Arbor’s tallest building, Tower Plaza.

“For the State Street stage, we do have a new stage set up this year. We are partnering with the Steve Sommers Band. Steve is overseeing our stage this year, which is great because he’s got a lot of great local groups that will be joining at 2 p.m., through 8 p.m,” Todoro-Hargeaves said.

This stage will start later than the other two stages on Thursday and Friday, according to a schedule from the State Street District. Solar Café will start at 2 p.m. with an acoustic jazz set. They will be followed by the Ypsilanti Library Guitar and Uke Club at 3 p.m, classical harpist Laurel Federbush at 4 p.m, the Woodwind Quintet with Kaia Scaggs at 5 p.m, and a Jazz Organ Trio with Danny Tyrell, Steve Somers and Duane Wells at 7 p.m.

Friday’s stage will start with the Sommer Sisters at 2 p., followed by the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra Jazz Combo at 3 p.m. The Broken Arrow Blues Band will start at 6 p.m, followed by the Washtenaw Community College Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s show will start at 12 p.m. Americana music will be represented by Mercury Salad at 1 p.m, followed by rock n’ roll from the Memphis Thrillbillies at 2 p.m, the Nitpicker folk band at 3 p.m., Na Bonsai at 5 p.m., musical covers by the Deep Steam Band at 6 p.m. The finale will come from the Steve Sommers Band with Valerie Barrymoore at 7 p.m, providing a combination of jazz, the blues and R & B.

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