If you are an avid fan of chamber music, rock music, or simply a variety of music styles and you live in or around Detroit, or if you are a visitor and want to know where to go to hear music that relaxes you, soothes your soul, or rocks you to the core, the following is a list of some of the places you can visit, meet new friends, relax, get pumped and get your fill of spectacular live music. The finest musicians play concerts in these venues and you won’t want to miss a moment. So get ready to be amazed by the talent.


The Society Cafe’

Located at the Seligman Performing Arts Center, this casual venue is a place to get together with your fellow chamber music lovers and other listeners who can’t get enough of this music. Enjoy a relaxing beverage and a dessert from the wide array of selections available.


Royal Oak Music Theatre

An eclectic mix of talent performing nightly for your pleasure.


DTE Energy Music Theatre

This is known as the greatest outdoor concert venue in Detroit. Depending on who is scheduled, you can expect to hear anything from pop to heavy metal!


Magic Stick Detroit

This is a live music venue at its finest. Various artists in different genres perform here.


Cliff Bell’s

This is a supper club art deco style that offers live entertainment nightly.

2011-09-26 22.40.27-753870

Magic Bag in Ferndale

A great, diversified entertainment venue. Hear live music, watch live comedy shows and enjoy a brew or two.


What this tiny venue lacks in size, it more than makes up for by booking the very best in national and local talent. Do not miss this place!


Clutch Cargo’s

Located in Pontiac, this former church is now a boisterous nightclub that offers live shows featuring artists who perform a wide variety of musical styles.


Saint Andrews Hall

Detroit is home to this intimate, controversial concert hall that offers the best in musical talent in all of Detroit.

It isn’t surprising to find such an eclectic mix of musical talent in and around Detroit. From one end of the musical spectrum to the other Detroit is about music-always has been, always will be. Remember the great artists who came out of this area and made it to the top of the charts! Madonna, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes (I grew up listening to them!) the Four Tops, and Stevie Wonder all hailed from Detroit. And they are just the tip of the musical talent iceberg that Detroit is proud to claim as its own.

Remember Motown Records? Yes-Detroit again. Techno music? In fact, Detroit is often credited as being the birthplace of techno music because the electronic scene has been alive there for many years. Surely, if you are a techno-junkie you recognize this name: Kenny Dixon Jr. aka the “Moodymann”.

This undeniably notable DJ has managed to create his own hybrid brand of electronic music that blends jazz, disco, soul and funk into something that is seamless perfection. The Moodymann can be found at music festivals spinning his unique brand of music all over the world. Catch a performance if you are ever in his area. You will love it!



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.





Detroit-not just the Motor City, but a virtual hotbed of talent-musical talent, that is! Both newcomers and firmly established musicians hail from this great city, and either still reside there, or call Detroit their hometown. Some of these names surprised even me, and once I started researching I was amazed at what I found. Detroit has ‘fathered’ musician greats in just about any genre you can think of and I am going to attempt to name as many as I can in the following list. Read on and enjoy!


Alice Coltrane

Does that name have a familiar ring to it? If you are a true lover of jazz music it should be. John Coltrane married Alice McLeod and a legend was born! Alice Coltrane, jazz pianist, composer, and activist brought awareness to the AIDS epidemic sweeping among African-Americans. Her contributions to the album Stolen Moments Red Hot + Cool are attributed to the title Album of the Year by Time Magazine. Listen to her rendition of The Sun, Blue Nile, and Stellar Regions for some of the best jazz tunes you could ever hear!



Now if you haven’t heard of this singer, I would have to say you have been living under a rock somewhere! One of the greatest female singers of all time, Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, MI and later became the female pop icon of the world, imitated by teenage girls everywhere, and dreamed about by every teenage boy in existence once she went solo in 1981. Her many hits included Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Papa Don’t Preach and a multitude of others. Among her many claims to fame as a singer, songwriter, actress and accomplished business woman, Madonna was named the world’s richest female musician in the world in 2008.



The world of Hip-Hop music was never the same once Marshall Bruce Mathers III hit the scene. Mathers, aka Slim Shady, aka Eminem is one of the- if not the most famous Detroit rapper to come out of that city. Rolling Stone Magazine named Eminem one of the 100 greatest artists of all time. You cannot be into rap music and not listen to this guy! Lend an ear to The Real Slim Shady, Cleanin’ Out My Closet, or Lose Yourself and you will see why he is considered one of the most talented rappers of all time.



R&B music wouldn’t be complete if I failed to mention Motown Records from the 60’s and 70’s which featured some of the best and most famous R&B artists ever. See if you recognize these names: The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and The Four Tops. I could go on and on, but the list would be too extensive! P-Funk, another R&B group that is still extremely popular today was formed in 1967 by George Clinton and went through many name changes and members, is now still known as P-Funk and remains ever-popular in the R&B world.


The White Stripes

Got to admit I had to do some research here on this band. What I found out is that much of their success was due to the speculation surrounding their personal lives. Were Jack and Meg White related? Brother and sister? Husband and wife? Turns out they were married once, but were also billed at first as brother and sister. Why? Who knows. They certainly garnered a lot of attention from the publicity stunts they pulled, as well as the garage style rock/blues influences they produced. Suffice to say that The White Stripes definitely brought a unique sound to Detroit music.

Well, there you have it. Some of the most unique and famous musicians to come out of Detroit, plus undoubtedly a few thousand more that I don’t have room for!