Now, Detroit is a virtual hotbed of established, as well as young musicians just starting out. Ask any musician how hard it is to break into the music business, or even where to be to get that start, and they will probably tell you Detroit. The flavor and mix of different music cultures and genres are abundant in this city, and that includes chamber music right on up through heavy metal with several variations in between. If you want to fill your head with music, head to Detroit to get your fix. Not only is there live entertainment nightly in and around the city, but you can dine, drink, and party while you listen.
I want to give you an abbreviated list of world famous musicians who got their start in Detroit, and while you may know the names, you might not realize they hailed from here – I know I was really surprised at some of them! Either I never gave it much thought, or I (incorrectly) assumed they came straight out of California somewhere. Wrong! Okay, here goes.
Berry Gordy, Aretha Franklin, Della Reese, Insane Clown Posse, Alice Cooper, Eminem, Florence Ballard, Kid Rock, D12, the Supremes, Kenny Burrell, Bill Haley and the Comets (remember them?), Aaliyah, MC5, Smokey Robinson, Lamont Dozier, and Donald Byrd. Any of these names ring a bell? If chamber music is your thing, how about pianist Robert Goode, the Julliard String Quartet, Baritone David Small, pianist Steve Wogaman, clarinet player Richard Stolzman, the Ariel Quartet and David Deveau on piano.
These names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to famous musicians who all call Detroit home. Obviously, this list could go on and on, but for the sake of time and space I will limit myself to the above named.
Now, how about I give you the names of a few places in Detroit where you can hear live music just about any night of the week?
The Old Miami has the distinction of being the “CBGB of the Midwest” because at one time or another just about any famous artist from Detroit has appeared on stage there. Great outdoor seating, the best stage area, and drinks a-plenty depending on the entertainment of the night.
TV Lounge on Grande River Avenue is without a doubt the best live techno music bar in the city. Along with riveting electronic music, it is also known for hosting some of the best hip-hop music around. It’s rave-like atmosphere and after-hour parties continue long past sunrise.
The Raven Lounge may be a bit off the beaten path on Chene Street, but if you crave soul food and authentic blues music it is definitely worth finding your way there. Fried chicken, mac and cheese, and all sorts of soul/comfort food are available, so bring your appetite when you head there.
The Stonehouse on Ralston Street is rumored to be one of the oldest bars in Michigan, running continuously since it opened. The gossip is that it once was a local hangout for Detroit gangsters during the prohibition era, as well as being a former brothel. Not located in the best of neighborhoods it is still a hot spot for the blues circuit.
Shaver Hall at Wayne State University is a great place to go to hear all your favorite chamber music. The Music Recital Hall hosts many of your favorite musicians playing for your listening enjoyment.
Society Cafe’ located at the Seligman Performing Arts Center is a great place to meet up with friends, listen to haunting chamber music, sip coffee and enjoy tempting and delicious desserts.
Well, I hope I have given you some insight into the Detroit music scene, as well as provided you with a few tips about where to head on your next night out. The city is wide open to music in every venue you could possibly think of, so go and enjoy.