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BACKPACK MUSIC FEST TO COLLECT SCHOOL SUPPLIES

The 9th Annual Backpack Music Festival will be held at Belle Isle, Aug. 2, for a day of music, art, education and summertime family fun. The event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Serendipity, Collage and Potpourri (SCP), an organization that works with public and charter schools, churches and community organizations to help provide basic school supplies to children in need, and will feature a notable lin ...

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Building an institution out of an old house on Ferry Park

Passing cars on slow down to wave at Yusef Shakur who is sitting on the steps of 2431 Ferry Park eating his lunch. A young man passes. He, too, connects with Shakur. “I ain’t too good,” the young man says. “Come back and talk to me,” Shakur responds. The young man nods. The west side neighborhood where Shakur lives and grew up in is known to many as Zone 8. The area struggles with the structural poverty and ...

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Charivari Detroit 2014 invites the Motor City to dance on the river

Charivari is a name recognized in Detroit electronic music history as the early 1980s party that set the scene for many of the city’s great house and techno musicians. The name will once again be featured as a two-day music festival at William G. Milliken State Park along the Detroit River, August 2-3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days. Charivari Detroit 2014 is free and open to all ages. “Charivari actually sta ...

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Run/walk on Belle Isle to encourage organ/tissue donation

More than 1,000 supporters of efforts to expand minority patients’ access to tissue and organ transplant operations will participate in the 17th annual Gift of Life Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program Foundation’s Walk/Run on July 26, 2014 on Belle Isle. The event, which begins at the Belle Isle Casino, features a 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run. Funds raised will benefit public education about o ...

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Old school and older school: Mind Fusion cross-fades jazz and hip hop

Sam Spruill, known to many as DJ Handsome Sam, has been managing at Cliff Bell’s, a beautifully restored 30s era jazz venue, for years. Two years ago, while searching for a way to combine his two loves — hip hop and jazz — he concocted Mind Fusion. Spruill says Mind Fusion is “a chance to display talent in the jazz scene in Detroit with a hip hop mentality.” Each event pairs a DJ with either a hard bop jazz ...

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J Dilla’s legacy preserved in the Smithsonian

James “J Dilla” Yancey, the late Detroit music producer whose stardom has grown globally since his passing in 2006, is headed toward enshrinement in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, announced the news at the ninth annual “D.C. Loves Dilla” event on July 17. The legendary hip hop musician will be represented in the museum by his MPC beat machine and his cus ...

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Black burlesque connects ‘History and Her-story’

On July 25, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., the “Unveiling the Hidden Story of Black Burlesque: Connecting History to Her-Story” workshop will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The discussion and presentation is hosted by International Black Burlesque Performers, a Detroit-based production company. Although the historical and cultural impacts of Black burlesque performers are often o ...

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Poetic Menace continues to revive hip hop culture

Poetic Menace struggled as a Detroit recording artist for over 20 years. The independent MC has gone from the highs of being on stage in front of a packed room and holding his own vinyl record in his hands, to the lows of self-doubt and a music industry rigged against him. But his self-proclaimed marriage to hip hop would not allow him to break free without trying harder to grow with the culture. Today, Poe ...

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Tarot and Tea divines brighter present for Detroiters

Nefertiti comes from a long line of spiritually precocious people. Her grandfather was a spiritualist. His son, a jazz musician, also had the gift. “He used to touch people’s hands and tell them about themselves,” Nefertiti says of her father. “(But) he was frustrated because he had to work a factory job. No one would take him seriously about his spiritual gift. It got to a point where adults would ask him ...

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