DETROIT – Don Fagenson was an Oak Park teenager in the summer of 1967. That's when violence escalated after police arrested patrons at an after-hours bar in the north end of Detroit. Now nearly 50 years after the those five days of violence, that teenager is now multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was, founder of the hit-making rock band Was (Not Was) and president of Blue Note Records. Was maintains a powerful connection to Detroit music of all genres through his involvement hosting this annual All-Star Revue at the Concert of Colors.
Saturday marks the 10th iteration of the Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue at Orchestra Hall. The concert is part of the 25th Concert of Colors, a free, multi-day festival that celebrates the musical and ethnic diversity of the city.
“The rebellion of '67 made it impossible to deny inequality and injustice and you couldn’t close your eyes and walk away,” Was said on recent trip to Detroit.
This year's revue sets out to commemorate Detroit's history with music loosely inspired by rebellion.
Carolyn Crawford; John Sinclair; David McMurray + Paul Randolph; Dennis Coffey + Melvin Davis; Tino Gross + Harmonica Shah; Jessica Care Moore; The War & Treaty; Nadir Omowale; Sweet Pea Atkinson, Donald Ray Mitchell + Sir Harry Bowens; Chris Canas + 440; Corktown Popes; Steffanie Christi’an; Mahogany Jones; Nick Piunti; Alan Franklin; DIME Singers; and the Revue House Band featuring Luis Resto, keyboards; Randy Jacobs, guitar; Brian Roscoe White, guitar; Ron Pangborn, drums; David McMurray, saxophone; Rayse Biggs, trumpet; Sir Harry Bowens, vocals; Sweet Pea Atkinson, vocals; Donald Ray Mitchell, vocals; Don Was, bass.