7:00 & 9:00 p.m.
The Garden Theater
Afro Blue, was founded in the spring of 2002 by Connaitre Miller, Jazz Voice Coordinator at Howard University. Singing music similar to the styles of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer, and Take 6, while adding their own unique sound, this dynamic “vocal big band” has performed to wide critical acclaim. Afro Blue has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered; reached the top four on The Sing-Off, NBC-TV’s a cappella group competition; and joined the legendary Bobby McFerrin in selections from his Grammy-nominated VOCAbuLarieS album during the 2011 D.C.
THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS
7:30 & 8:45 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts | Lecture Hall
Minneapolis-based brother duo The Cactus Blossoms, Jack Torrey and Page Burkum, have a new studio album, You’re Dreaming, out on Red House Records. Produced by JD McPherson and featuring all original tracks by the duo and one cover, “No More Crying the Blues,” the albums shines a spotlight on the time-honored tradition of blood harmony a la the Everly Brothers with their classic country pop sound. In his review of the album, Jon Freeman of Rolling Stone Country writes, "There's no getting around it: You're Dreaming is pretty damn dreamy."
7:00 & 8:45 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts | Rivera Court
Acclaimed as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States” (Fanfare), Cantus engages audiences in a meaningful music experience and ensures the future of ensemble singing by mentoring young singers and educators.
The Majestic Theater
Jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles adds a new twist to the holidays with music from his dynamic Creole Christmas album. Featuring classic selections from the Caribbean, American, and European holiday songbooks, Charles and his ensemble celebrate the Christmas season with unique interpretations of pieces from Charles’ diverse musical roots. Charles shines a new light on tunes such as Mighty Spoiler’s hilarious classic “Father Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Chocolate,” Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” and two Lionel Belasco waltzes: “Juliana” and “Roses of Caracas Waltz.”
ETIENNE CHARLES CREOLE CHRISTMAS
7:30 & 9:00 P.M.
C.H. Wright Museum of African American History GM Theater
Les Nubians is an Afropean, Urban, R&B Grammy-nominated duo composed of sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart from Paris France. In 1985 the sisters moved with their parents to Chad, Africa. Seven years later, they returned to Bordeaux, France and began singing A Cappella, producing poetry slams in Bordeaux and Paris, and singing background vocals for various artists worldwide. To critical acclaim, the duo's debut album Princesses Nubiennes was released by Virgin Records, France, in 1998. They have become one of the most successful French-language musical groups in the U.S., best known for their Billboard R&B Single "Makeda" from their Grammy nominated album Princesses Nubiennes. Les Nubians were the 1999 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards winners for Best New Artist, Group or Duo and received two NAACP Image Awards nominations in 2000.
Motor City Brewing Works Warehouse
The Main Squeeze is a band known for its blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release “Without a Sound” illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles. If maturity comes with experience, “Without a Sound” reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Jane’s Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.
The Main Squeeze
THE CUBE | IN THE MAX M. & MARJORIE S. FISHER MUSIC CENTER
Presented by Midtown Detroit Inc. and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chicago-based ensemble Sidewalk Chalk will treat event attendees to back-to-back performances (7:00 & 8:15 p.m.) featuring original music plus a few holiday favorites. Comprised of an MC, vocalist, drummer, bassist, keys player, trombonist and trumpeter, Sidewalk Chalk transcends genre with a wholly original sound that blends elements off funk, hip-hop, jazz, and R&B. Free. No tickets required. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
7:00 & 8:15 p.m.
Cass Corridor Commons | Sanctuary
Crowned “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues” in 2015, Thornetta Davis, a multi-talented international singer/songwriter from Detroit, ia the winner of over 30 Detroit music awards. She first gained attention in 1987 when she became back up singer for the Detroit soul band “Lamont Zodiac and The Love Signs.” Shortly after, the lead singer left the band and the name changed to “The Chisel Brothers featuring Thornetta Davis." In 1996, Thornetta recorded her first solo album “Sunday Morning Music” on the Seattle based label “Sub Pop” which received a rave revue in the national Entertainment Weekly magazine. Her song “Cry” from that album was featured on the HBO hit “The Sopranos”. Thornetta has opened for legendary blues and R&B greats such as Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Johnnie Johnson and many more…her history is extensive and her performances are memorable... and Noel Night would not be the same without her.