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Music: Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, & Traditional - Week of May 10, 2021

Nationally known artists visit Kerrytown Concert House, other clubs, and campus venues, crowning a flourishing nightlife scene. Home to considerable local talent, Ann Arbor's also a stop for up-and-comers on the college circuit. Note: Most bands in this category are listed in Nightspots.

Who wrote this?   Ann Arbor Observer tree logo Observer editors    community member community members


May 2021
 All day  Free!  Online 

Tunde Olaniran: University Musical Society Digital Presentation.

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Apr. 30-May 10. Detroit video artist Oren Goldenberg directs a multimedia performance by Flint singer-songwriter Olaniran, a current UMS artist-in-residence, who describes their electronic pop music as "the lovechild of Prince, Kanye West, and Kraftwerk."
Available online all day April 30 through May 10 at Free. 764-2538.

 7:30-9:30 p.m.  Free!  Online 

Scandinavian Music Jam.

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Bruce Sagan and Brad Battey lead an acoustic jam session devoted to traditional music from Sweden and Norway. All instruments welcome, no experience playing Scandinavian music necessary.
7:30-9:30 p.m., for URL email Free. (908) 721-2599. [map]



May 2021
 5-7 p.m. or so  Online 

"Bluegrass Jam Circle": Ann Arbor Senior Center.

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May 11 & 25 (tentative dates). All musicians invited to bring their acoustic instruments to play bluegrass-style music. Vocalists welcome.
For outdoor location and other updates see Price TBA.

 7-10 p.m.  Free!  Online 

"Pub Sing": Ann Arbor Morris.

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Local Morris dancers lead participants in an evening of rousing choruses, drinking songs, sea shanties, and English folk songs. No set program; all participants are welcome to lead a song with a singable, reasonably easy-to-learn chorus.
For URL email Free.

 8 p.m.  Free!  Online 

Peter Madcat Ruth & the C.A.R.Ma. Quartet: The Ark Family Room Series.

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Madcat is a world-renowned veteran local harmonica wiz whom Dave Brubeck once praised as one of the world's "great jazz soloists." He has a massive repertoire of blues, jazz, folk, and rock tunes, along with several fine originals and songs by other contemporary composers. His current band includes percussionist John Churchville, bassist Brennan Andes, and guitarist Dan Ripke.
8 p.m., for livestream URL see Free, donations appreciated. 761-1451.



May 2021
 5:30 p.m.  Free!  Online 

Jazz Chats with Cool Cats": Kerrytown Concert House.

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Local drummer Pete Siers and local Grammy-winning bassist Robert Hurst jam and discuss Hurst's career. Hurst is a U-M music professor who was the inaugural bassist for Jay Leno's The Tonight Show house band, among other things.
Online at Free, but donations accepted. [map]

 9 p.m.  Online 

Milk Carton Kids: The Ark Livestream Series.

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Apr. 29 & May 13 (different programs). Folksy acoustic Americana originals by the L.A. duo of singer-songwriters Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. The New York Times calls their music "a sweetly dazzling variation on close-harmony vocals, part Simon and Garfunkel and part Everly Brothers."
9 p.m., for URL and tickets ($15-$115 per show, $25-$125 for both shows), see 761-1451.

 10 p.m.  Online 

Dustbowl Revival: The Ark Livestream Series.

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May 6 & 13. Venice (CA) Americana roots music collective whose music blends bluegrass, jug band music, and western swing. "The free-thinking local collective Dustbowl Revival's upbeat, old-school, All-American sonic safaris exemplify everything shows should be: hot, spontaneous, engaging and, best of all, a pleasure to hear," says an LA Weekly reviewer. Their music has evolved in a roots rock direction, and American Songwriter finds their latest, Is It You, Is It Me, "ensconced in a cleaner and expanded, if still slightly retro, pop sound that recalls early Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood Mac, especially through the vocals of front people/co-founders Zach Lupetin and Liz Beebe." The band plays thise album in its entirety on May 6, while the May 13 show features songs & stories spanning its 10-year career.
10 p.m., for URL and tickets ($15-$65 per show, $25-$73 for both shows), see 761-1451.



May 2021
 7-10 p.m. 

Zen Zadravec Trio: Blue LLama Jazz Club.

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Jazz standards & originals by an ensemble this young Canadianl composer-pianist.
7-10 p.m., Blue LLama, 314 S. Main. $10. 531-6188. [map]



May 2021
 10-10:45 a.m.  Online 

"42nd Annual Walk & Wag": Humane Society of Huron Valley Benefit.

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Closing ceremony for this year's virtual program which encourages people to run or walk a 5k anywhere, anytime before May 15. Includes a short performance by Erin Zindle, the fiery fiddling frontwoman of the classy local progressive country-rock band the Ragbirds, along with a meet-and-greet with celebrity spokesdog and the chance to hear shelter stories from Humane Society staffers. Prizes.
For URL preregister by May 15 online at $39 fundraising minimum (enter code "Observer" to get 25 percent off); kids age 16 & under, free. 662-5585.

 7 p.m. 

Mike Gavin & Family: Acoustic Routes Concert.

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Celtic music and song featuring the veteran Detroit Irish family ensemble, led by fiddler (and County Clare native) Gavin with his sons Sean (flutist and uilleann piper) and Mike (fiddler and banjoist). After the show, all musicians invited to join an informal session of jigs and reels. Face masks required.
Stony Lake Brewing, 447 E. Michigan, Saline. $10. Reduced capacity; reservations recommended at 316-7919. [map]



May 2021
 2 p.m.  Online 

"Cakewalk!": Stone Chalet.

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The string players from this Tecumseh-based River Raisin Ragtime Revue are joined by renowned dancer Bianca Revels in a program exploring the history and music of the cakewalk. Narratxion by RRRR music director Kelsee Vandervall.
2 p.m., for URL preregister ($20-$100 donation) at

 7-9 p.m.  Free!  Online 

Ann Arbor (Mostly) Acoustic Open Mic.

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Musicians of all ability levels and ages invited to sing and play anything from classic rock, Motown, and blues to bluegrass, folk, and country. All acoustic instruments (strings, horns, and woodwinds) welcome. Led by veteran local musicians Bill Connors and Phil McMillion.
For online meeting URL preregister at 973-7791.

 8 p.m.  Online 

Christine Lavin: The Ark Livestream Series.

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A veteran New York City singer-songwriter who has been described as a mix of Bette Midler, Tom Lehrer, Steve Goodman, and Janis Ian, Lavin is known for the sharp wit and comically warped perspectives of songs like "Stop Sobbing … He's an Idiot" and "Tom Cruise Scares Me." She's also known for her bittersweet miniatures of lost romance, and she's a tastily tuneful composer, a superb guitarist, and a playfully unpredictable performer whose shows are always sprinkled with a healthy dose of between-songs humor and spiky commentary. Her new album, On My Way to Hooterville, includes 10 new songs and one re-worked song, "Ramblin' Waltz," a re-telling of her experience in 1975 as one of the entourage drivers for the first week of Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue.
8 p.m., for URL and tickets ($20; group, $30), see 761-1451.

 8 p.m.  Online 

Sierra Ferrell: The Ark Livestream Series.

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Apr. 18 and May 2 & 16. A highly regarded young Nashville-based Americana singer-songwriter and songster who got her start at age 7 singing in a West Virginia bar, Ferrell performs a series of 3 themed shows at different Nashville venues. Apr. 18: Honky-Tonk night at American Legion. May 2: Calypso night at Dee's Lounge. May 16: Jazz night at the Basement.
8 p.m., for URL and tickets ($12 & $50 per show, $30 & $65 for a 3-show package), see

 8:30 p.m.  Online 

Sarah Jarosz: The Ark Livestream Series.

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Texas bluegrass-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumental prodigy whose unassumingly resonant lyricism and piercingly inerrant vocal interpretations have provoked widespread comparisons to a young Gillian Welch. "Jarosz stamps all eleven tracks with her musical vision," says No Depression in its review of her 2013 CD, Follow Me Down. "The haunting tone of her voice, the assuredness with which she weaves through the melodies, and the thoughtfulness of her delivery are all impressive … The emotional quality of Jarosz's singing magnifies the open-ended meaning of her lyrics."
8:30 p.m., for URL and tickets ($20-$65), see 761-1451.

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