Rock The District brings Theo Katzman to annual street festival

. February 17, 2017.
Theo Katzman, above, studied jazz at the University of Michigan before moving on to become a nationally-recognized recording artist.
Theo Katzman, above, studied jazz at the University of Michigan before moving on to become a nationally-recognized recording artist.

After a successful debut, Rock The District is bringing national touring artist Theo Katzman to the Maynard Street stage for their second annual music festival April 22.

The lineup, which has been curated by Tree Town Sounds’ Matthew Altruda, will also feature The Go Rounds, Chris Dupont, Misty Lyn and Girls Who Care.

Katzman’s musical career began in Ann Arbor during his tenure studying jazz at the University of Michigan. Since his time in the local music scene, he’s had a bustling pop career as both a solo artist and with his funk band, Vulfpeck and electropop band, Ella Riot. He’s toured with several national acts including Darren Criss and Vanessa Carlton.

“I’m so excited that I can bring (Katzman) to where it all started and people in our community can come out and see him for free,” Altruda said.

Rock the District is a collaborative effort between Altruda and the State Street District, an association for the businesses in and around State Street. The event began as a way to bring people out to an area that tends to get a little less play, according to Altruda.

“A lot of the love tends to lands on Main Street,” he said. “Music is a great way to bring people out and have a great time.”

Rock The District closes down Maynard Street between William and Liberty streets for a free and family-friendly party. There will be a beer tent where festival goers can purchase libations, but patrons are encouraged to dine at State Street’s plethora of restaurants.

“I just want to focus on the music,” Altruda said. “I want a free stage and I want people in Ann Arbor to come out and enjoy the greatest city in America.”

In 2016 about 2,000 people filled Maynard and this year organizers are expecting that number to rise to 2,500. It’s the first outdoor music event for the year, which makes for an even more electric atmosphere according to Altruda.

“It’s kind of like the starting gun for music outside,” he said. “Ann Arbor transforms. It’s really a townie celebration. The Ann Arbor people who love music are going to come out and support this.”

Rock The District is scheduled for 5 to 10:30 p.m. on April 22 and is set to happen rain or shine.

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